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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Small Fruit Pollination
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Bee pollination benefits most cultivated small fruits that are farmed in the world temperate zones.  The extent of benefit primarily varies with the fruit species.  At one extreme, sweet cherries and rabbiteye blueberries are self incompatible, requiring a pollinator to move pollen from one variety to another.  Many other cultivated species of small fruits are self fertile, but require a pollinator to simply move pollen from an anther to a stigma.  Examples include highbush blueberry, tart cherries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  These last two, as well as strawberries, are capable of considerable autopollination, producing fruits iin the absence of floral visitors.  Even with these, however, larger and more uniform fruit can result from bee pollination.  Research at our lab has focused both on documenting pollination benefits of bees for many of these fruits, identifying good pollinators, and developing effective, practical means of multiplying native bees for the job.


Last Modified: 4/7/2009
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