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Down on the farm, blueberry bush pollination is well under way – one of the most important events of the entire year. It is critical that the blueberry crop is properly pollinated, because successful pollination of the flower determines the size of the final fruit.
Unlike some other plants, blueberries are not able to self-fertilise and therefore require the help of bees to pollinate each flower individually. This is an enormous task for the bees – in just one hectare of land, there is an average of 3.3 million flowers on the blueberry crop. We therefore have to introduce colonies of native bumble bees into the crop at the right time as the flowers open, ready for pollination. Once opened, the flowers are only receptive to pollination for three short days, so timing is absolutely critical. Each individual bee colony will contain 80 to 150 workers and their queen, and we will introduce an incredible 30 colonies per hectare to achieve pollination!