Ellsworth American interviews Yarborough, Drummond about bees

“The Ellsworth American” interviewed David Yarborough and Frank Drummond for a story about blueberry growers ordering fewer honeybees and bumblebees to pollinate this year’s crop. Homer Woodward, vice president of Jasper Wyman & Son in Milbridge, said he’ll order fewer bees to make up for the drop in last year’s crop and because he’ll be harvesting 1,200 fewer acres. David Yarborough, blueberry specialist with the School of Food and Agriculture and University of Maine Cooperative Extension, said blueberry growers have ordered fewer bees for a few years; the industry is experiencing strong competition from highbush blueberry growers in the Pacific Northwest, other parts of the U.S. and overseas. Drummond, a professor of insect ecology at UMaine, said the price of blueberries was so low last year that it almost didn’t cover the cost of production.