Impact of enhanced Osmia bicornis (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) populations on pollination and fruit quality in commercial sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) orchards

Ryder, J.T., Cherrill, A., Prew, R., Shaw, J., Thorbek, P. and Walters, K.F.A. (2019) Impact of enhanced Osmia bicornis (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) populations on pollination and fruit quality in commercial sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) orchards. Journal of Apicultural Research.

[img] Text
Keith Walters impact of enhanced upload.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 23 August 2020.

Download (632kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

The impact on pollination of supplementing wild pollinators with commercially reared Osmia bicornis in commercial orchards growing the self-fertile sweet cherry variety “Stella” was investigated in each of two years. The quality characteristics used by retailers to determine market value of fruit were compared when insect pollination was by wild pollinators only, or wild pollinators supplemented with O. bicornis released at recommended commercial rates. No effect of treatment on the number of fruit set or subsequent rate of growth was recorded. However, supplemented pollination resulted in earlier fruit set when compared to pollination by wild pollinators alone and offered the potential benefit of a larger proportion of the crop reaching optimum quality within a narrower time range, resulting in more consistent produce. Retailers use five key quality criteria in assessment of market value of cherries (the weight of individual fruit, width at the widest point, fruit colour, sugar content and firmness). Price paid to growers depends both on meeting the criteria and consistency between fruit in these characteristics. In both years, the commercial criteria were met in full in both treatments, but harvested fruit following supplemented pollination were consistently larger and heavier compared to those from the wild pollinator treatment. In the year where supplemented pollination had the greatest impact on the timing of fruit set, fruit size and sugar content were also less variable than when pollination was by wild species only. The implications for the commercial use of O. bicornis in cherry orchards are considered.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Solitary bee, sweet cherry, fruit set, fruit quality, Osmia bicornis, pollination
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2019 15:04
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 15:04
URI: http://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17438

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item