blueberry plants and bees

Asked May 23, 2016, 1:17 PM EDT

I have about 30 Northblue plants and 10 Polaris plants. Lots of blossoms. But no bees to pollinate! What can I do?

Carlton County Minnesota attracting pollinators

1 Response

Many kinds of native bees pollinate blueberries. I have seen a variety of bees around my Saginaw-area garden this week, so there should be plenty around your blueberries unless they have been killed by pesticides. They can travel several miles to find food if they have to. The bees won't visit until the flowers are open and ready for pollination. Sit quietly near your plants on a sunny, calm day and see if they are being visited. If you are certain they are not, use a small paintbrush or Q-tip to move the pollen from one flower to another. Alternating between the varieties (putting the pollen from the Northblue on the Polaris and vice versa) is recommended as, although these varieties don't need a different variety to fruit, they will produce better when cross-pollinated. This is a tedious process, which is why pollinator health is so important.