Pollination Services Provided by Bees in Pumpkin Fields Supplemented with Either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or Not Supplemented
Concerns are mounting that the supply of A. mellifera for such services is declining [14], while the demand for pollination services across all pollinator dependent crops is increasing [15]. These concerns have led researchers to identify and assess the pollination efficiency of alternative managed pollinators, including the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson). On an individual flower-scale, B. impatiens is an efficient pollinator of cucurbits in general [16] and pumpkin specifically [17], [18]. In small fields (0.5 ha) of pumpkins supplemented with managed B. impatiens hives, fruit set but not fruit weight, was significantly greater than fruit set in fields not supplemented with managed hives [18]. Supplementation with commercially produced B. impatiens has been shown to increase fruit yield at the field-scale in blueberry [19][21] and raspberry [22] systems.