Like other fruit-bearing plants, strawberries need to be pollinated to produce fruit. While the plants primarily rely on wind for pollinating, bees can play an important role in helping the plants produce larger fruit.
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In the spring, strawberry plants start to produce flowers. The new flowers mostly rely on the wind to circulate pollen among the plants. But strawberry plants grown in the greenhouse require assistance from wind machines and released bees to pollinate the plants.
According to studies done by Cornell University, bees that help pollinate strawberries can help increase fruit size by up to 40 per cent. Some strawberry types require a colony of bees for every 2 to 4 acres while some plants may need 2 to 3 colonies per acre.
Certain species of bees help pollinate strawberry plants, including the blue-green sweat bee. The bee can be found in much of the United States where it busily drinks nectar and moves pollen around from April through October. The European honeybee also helps pollinate strawberry plants although the bees only live in managed hive boxes.
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