A Curious Beekeeper Explores for 3/29/2018

Maine has a new Blueberry Specialist – that is uMaine Cooperative Extension has a new Blueberry Specialist. The uMaine school of Food and Agriculture gets a new associate professor of Horticulture too – and surprise – two part time positions make a full time one. Lily Calderwood replaces the soon to retire David Yarborough.
Calderwood earned her Ph. D. at the University of Vermont in 2015. She comes to Maine from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Albany County.
Why should beekeepers care about her appointment?
This nugget from the UVM website: “has recently earned her PhD from UVM Plant and Soil Sciences with a concentration in extension entomology”
Entomology? Oh yeah!
Last year, a bit over 30,000 colonies of Honey bees came to Maine for commercial pollination. While there other crops that are pollinated commercially in Maine, I think it fair to say that most of those colonies came to pollinate wild blueberries. It wasn’t that many years ago that more than double that number of colonies came to Maine. That was when the price of blueberries wasn’t in the toilet.
Think about it. Commercial Blueberry growers often use fungicides and insecticides which are in all probability not great for bees.
Enter an entomologist. I have hopes.

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