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Are you interested in improving bee health in your pear block?

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We are looking for pear growers interested in participating in a USDA-funded research project this Spring. The project will explore bee health at orchards under different fire blight management schemes (antibiotics & biologicals). We are hoping to recruit growers who can provide access to pear blocks that are typically sprayed with either antibiotics or Blossom Protect.

Things we need from participants:

● Meet with the research team on one visit to the orchard.

● Coordinate the access of the researchers to the orchard four times, from April to May.

● Provide a record of fire blight management (products applied, dose, and timing) in the experimental block.

We will:

● Tag & bag 20 tree branches to assess pear pollination & collect ~50 blossoms twice.

● Place four bumblebee colonies. Place blue orchard bee nests (~9 nests & 400 bees released at the block).

● Visit the pear block on four separate days to collect data and samples.

We will coordinate each visit with the grower, follow protocols related to COVID-19, and schedule our visits to avoid disruptions to orchard management. Participant/orchards’ identity and location will be anonymized. We will share our research findings via articles in Tree Fruit News as well as in a final presentation locally.

Please contact the project director Laura Avila (513-301-4164; for more information. We look forward to your participation & to discussing the project!


Laura Avila


Department of Biology

Emory University


Berry Brosi

Associate Professor

University of Washington

Washington State University