Matt Arrington on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Matt Arrington recently graduated with a Ph.D. in horticulture from Washington State University. He has experience in applied plant research with small fruit and tree fruit.

Matt is currently working with Dr. Lisa DeVetter at the Small Fruit Horticulture program in Mount Vernon, Washington as a graduate research assistant. Key projects he is involved with include pollination and fruit set improvement in highbush blueberry.

Listen in to learn about highbush blueberries, and how honeybees can greatly benefit the pollination and harvest of your plants.

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“[Blueberries bloom] in the spring, when we usually have fairly heavy rainfall, low temperatures, windstorms, and those are all environmental conditions that are really not good for foraging activities, especially in honeybees.” – Matt Arrington

Show Notes:

  • What you need to know about high bush blueberries
  • The role of pollinators for high bush blueberries
  • Why insect pollination is so crucial for blueberries
  • The advantages of having a manager for your pollinators
  • What stocking rates are for and how they are set
  • Why blueberry growers should consider using more honeybees
  • Why attractants are used and what they are made of

”I’ll see [bumble bees] out really early in the season. They’ll be out pollinating while there’s still snow on the ground, and I’ll come home from work in the evening when it’s dark and you’ll hear them still in the bush.” – Matt Arrington

Links Mentioned:

One thought on “32 Matt Arrington – Pollinating Blueberries in the Pacific Northwest

  1. Just an observation from my own backyard in Salem, Or.
    My son kept honey bees for a couple of years in our back yard very close to our row of blueberries which I assume are high bush blueberries. The honey bees always flew past the blueberries to forage elsewhere while the blueberry shrubs were loaded with bumblebees. I assume it works to use honey bees in blueberry fields because the bees are surrounded by acres of blueberries with very little alternate sources of pollen and necter.
    Any thoughts on my observations?


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