Make sure you are ready to do your 5-minute bee observation.
Watch closely and you will see bee visitation to your apple flowers steadily increase through peak bloom. Peak bloom is the best time to do your surveys, but a little before or a little after peak is ok too.
Make sure you are prepared:
- Download the Bee Count App if you haven’t yet.
- Study the Native Bee ID training materials
- Watch the Bee Counting Instructions Video
- Use the survey 3-5 times in each orchard (at least 10 meters from outer edge of orchard)
- Email us if you have any questions (contact[at]northeastpollinatorpartnership.org)
What to expect after you submit your 3-5 independent surveys to us through the app
After you submit the surveys and the apple bloom is over, we will begin analyses using your submitted bee counts and data. In late Summer or early Fall we will send you a summary of your bee data in comparison with orchards that are in your geographic range- along with a personalized recommendation based on your data. Depending on what you decide to do with this information, this will give you time to enhance your management plans before winter.
The data you submitted last year allowed us to identify differences between IPM and Conventional orchards, with the additional data you submit this year we hope to see region specific trends. You can see a full discussion of our Spring 2016 data in our January blog.
What Are We at NEPP Up To?
Here at Northeast Pollinator Partnership we have been climbing trees looking at pre-apple bloom bee communities that forage on early blooming trees like red maples, sugar maples serviceberry and oaks. We are finding native bees getting geared up to flock to your trees. Males and females are busy mating, making their nests, suckling nectar from these high-in-the-sky flowers and getting ready to pounce on your apple blossoms. Once we identify all these bees to species, we will be able to tell you which trees are attracting the most native bees to your orchard with focus on the bee species that are most efficient at pollinating apple. We will continue these bee surveys of native trees around orchards straight through apple bloom and beyond.
Don’t forget to tell all your friends about this web accessible bee count survey! We want as broad of a geographic range as possible.
Happy Bee Counting!
All the best,
Maria van Dyke and the rest of us at NEPP