This year we have very few apples that are fully pollinated. We are building bee houses next to our garden in hopes that we can bring the bees back and next year.
For the last few years we have been noticing a decline in our apple harvest and the harvest of all of our squash, pumpkins and flowering plants in the garden. Then we noticed that when we were out in the garden there was a lack of the buzz of bees, and that we never even saw a bee anymore. This year was the first year that we have noticed that our apple trees have very few apples that are fully pollinated. When you cut a cross section of an apple the seeds of fully pollinated apples have a full star shape and the ones that are not fully pollinated do not. This year we have very few apples that are fully pollinated. So as a solution we are building bee houses next to our garden in hopes that we can bring the bees back and next year we are going to rent bee hives so that our plant and trees will be pollinated fully. I am unsure the reason for the decline, as the amount of plants for them to pollinate has not changed, and if anything has increased, but it is unusual and puzzle-some.
LEO says: bumble bee populations and wild bee populations are in trouble in Vermont and nationally. According to the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, "more than one-quarter of the bumble bee species in northeastern North America have either vanished or are in serious decline." See Associated Press article on the topic by researchers from the University of Vermont.