Pollinators and Pollination of Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) in Southern Nova Scotia
Haskap is an emerging crop in Nova Scotia that relies on cross-pollination for fruit production. There are concerns regarding what native pollinators are available to supplement managed honey bees, and what pollinators are best-suited for haskap in NS due to the early blooming period. In spring of 2016 and 2017, pollinator availability, effectiveness and efficiency were measured by pan trapping, transect walking, single visit pollen deposition, flower visits per minute, and tendency to visit both flowers in the double inflorescence. The usefulness of solitary bee nesting cavities with 6 mm and 8 mm nest tubes arranged snug and spaced were also evaluated. My results indicate that although there are 10 genera of bees that are found in haskap orchards during haskap bloom, only honey bees and bumble bees appear to be important pollinators of the crop. My results also show that honey bees can be effective pollinators of haskap, but bumble bees appear to be the most efficient pollinators. I also demonstrated that solitary bees predominantly nested in 6 mm nest tubes compared to 8 mm nest tubes, and there was no effect of spacing. I also noticed high levels of parasitism in the nest tubes. We recommend that honey bees and commercially managed bumble bees should be used to supplement pollination services from wild bumble bees to ensure maximum pollination success. The use of solitary bee nest boxes is not recommended.