Very few pollinators/bees in the orchard

Asked April 13, 2018, 8:32 PM EDT

It's April 13th, and we have an orchard with a lot of peach trees, as well as some apple, cherry and plum trees. We have hardly had any bees or other pollinators this year -- just in the last few days, we've seen a few bees visit the blossoms, but not very many at all. In previous years, we've see many bees on each tree. We are worried that the blossoming will be over before bees discover the trees. Any advice? We do have bees in the area, supposedly several hives at a reserve within a mile.

Charles County Maryland lack of pollinators

1 Response

European honeybees are less active during cool, cloudy, wet weather- conditions that have predominated in Maryland this spring. Native bee species and honeybees have declined in recent years due to a number of different and interconnected factors: loss of habitat, parasites, pesticides, diseases.

The two best things to do are plant for pollinators and minimize pesticide risks: use materials that are least toxic to bees, spray in the evening, and avoid spraying when flowers are open.

If you are operating a commercial orchard contact your county Farm Service Agency (USDA) and learn about pollinator conservation programs.