Scientists test methods to pollinate cranberries

Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014 --- 10:41 a.m.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (AP) -- University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists are researching alternative methods by which growers can pollinate cranberries.

The Daily Tribune Media reports (http://wrtnews.co/1qKhcoW) with the collapse of honeybee populations, researchers are looking at the possibility of wild bees.

The leader of the group conducting the research, Claudio Gratton, says wild bees can conduct 30 percent to 50 percent of the occurring pollination.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there are about 500 bee species found in the state.

Gratton hypothesizes that if growers plant wildflowers on the edges of fields, the diverse plants and shrubbery will attract native bees that will also pollinate the crops.

Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, worries that bees will be more attracted to the new plants that have more pollen.

Copyright Associated Press 2014


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