The Q&A Archives: Expected Bee Problems?

Question: A gardening friend of mine told me that there is expected to be a serious problem with pollination of vegetables due to a shortage of bees caused by some type of mite killing them off.

Is there any truth to this and if so what can be done to help the problem?

Answer: There has been a problem with certain decreasing bee populations and has been of particular concern to orchardists, but most home gardeners probably would not notice any effects from it because different plants may be pollinated by different types of insects (some do not require an insect at all) including different types of bees and wasps whose populations are not thus affected by the mite. If you ever suspect a pollination problem, such as when row covers have been used to exclude pests from cucurbits but have also then excluded beneficial pollinating insects, you can use a soft paintbrush to do the job yourself.

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