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How to manage solitary orchard bees for crop pollination

With the uncertainty of healthy honey bee hive availability and the high cost of hive rentals for crop pollination, an alternative or complementary bee, the blue orchard bee, is becoming more available and manageable for fruit and nut tree pollination.  This presentation will describe the life cycle of this North American solitary, cavity-nesting bee, and how it can be deployed for providing pollination services while also maintaining or increasing a managed pollinator population. To watch the recording of this webinar click on the link on the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Presenter bio: 
Theresa Pitts-Singer is a Research Entomologist. Pitts-Singer is part of the Integrated Crop Pollination Project leading efforts related to the use of non-Apis bees for crop pollination.  Her research team focuses on improving commercial-scale use and management of blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) and alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata), pollinators of fruit and nut trees and of alfalfa, respectively.  Working with private industry, Pitts-Singer patented a Bee Attractant to enhance blue orchard bee retention at artificial nest sites.  With California Almond Board funding, Pitts-Singer organized blue orchard bee workshops and was instrumental in creating the Orchard Bee Association. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...6-BHs&t=1s

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit extension.org. You can view the terms of useat extension.org/terms.

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