What is pollination enhancement?
Controlled pollination or pollination enhancement, simply put, is pollination with human intervention. The purpose is to improve the effectiveness of honey bee colonies and correct for factors that limit pollination such as drought, bee stress, weather and pathogens.
Controlled pollination boosts pollen density and quality in the orchard, increases the germination rate and vigor of the pollen, and improves fruit/nut set and crop load.
How does pollination enhancement work?
Pollen is harvested from tree flowers and separated from its anther sac. A carrier is then added so the pollen can be distributed.
Pollen distribution can work in two ways.
Pollen can be put on the doorstep of honey bee hives, so bees pick it up as they leave to pollinate flowering trees. This is a more efficient, lower-cost way to use the product. However, growers give up control because the bees go where they want.
Pollen can also be blown into flowering trees. This gives the grower more control over the timing of pollination, increases bee activity in the block in question and allows the grower to have more control over the specific trees or block where the pollen is applied.