Achieving good blueberry pollination is one of the keys to getting a great blueberry crop.
Blueberry bushes that have been pollinated properly will yield larger berries, and a larger percentage of blueberry blossoms will set fruit.
What does that mean to you as a blueberry grower?
Well, there are some things that you can do to assure that your blueberries are indeed well pollinated.
In fact, you can help assure that your blueberries will be well pollinated before you’ve even planted a single bush.
As you may know, the plants of most flowers have both male and female parts.
The male part is called the stamen, and it produces the pollen. The female part is called the pistil, and it must receive the pollen in order to achieve fertilization, which results in the ‘birth’ of a plant embryo (seed).
But since plants are unable to transfer pollen from the stamen to the pistil, they need some help. That’s where honey bees and other pollinating insects come in.
The flowers bribe insects with nectar and with the pollen itself, which is an extremely protein-rich food source.
When an insect visits a flower to collect some of the free pollen or nectar, they unintentionally transfer some grains of pollen from the male parts to the female parts. In true symbiotic fashion, both the plant and the insect help to ensure the survival of their species through the exchange of payment for services (inadvertently) rendered.
It’s a win-win not only for the insect and the plant, but also for the countless other creatures – including us – that depend upon the life-sustaining food that the pollinated plant will produce.
Some plants are pollinated by wind or by animals such as bats instead of, or in addition to insects. But blueberries are pollinated primarily by insects.