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Which commercial crops are not pollinated as well by honey bees alone as by both honey and bumbles?


Many crops, particularly those crops such as blueberry, cranberry and tomatoes that are best pollinated by “buzz pollination,” which a number of solitary bees such as bumbles do, but not honey bees. The size and shape of bumble bodies causes them to be better pollinators for some larger flowers of plants such as the cucurbits (squash, melons, cucumbers). Also bumbles forage earlier and later in the day than most of the honey bees and that better matches when some flowers are open.

However, honey bee colonies with their much larger numbers of pollinators contribute in that way to crop pollination, very important in large fields.


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