Effect of bumble bee pollination on greenhouse strawberry production
Maria Dimou, Smaragda Taraza, Andreas Thrasyvoulou and Miltiadis Vasilakakis
In this study, bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) were used as pollinators in the hydroponic cultivation of strawberries in a greenhouse during winter. We supplied 1N Hoagland nutrient solution three times per day to 160 strawberry plants (var. Selva) growing in two 10 cm diameter pipes filled with perlite. One row (control) of the strawberry plants was covered with a fine mesh in order to prevent bee visitation whilst other was open to pollinators. The fruit was collected and weighed weekly during the harvest period. Deformed fruit was counted separately. The results showed that the row pollinated by the bumble bees produced more well-shaped fruit and the total marketable fruit production was double compared to the control row.