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Maintaining Pumpkin and Squash Pollinators through 2020

If you wish to maintain strong populations of hoary squash bees on your farm next year and the following years, please plant at least an acre of pumpkin or squash on your farm. Continue Reading Maintaining Pumpkin and Squash Pollinators through 2020

Pumpkin planting is scheduled to move forward as usual for much of Ontario. If you are considering reducing pumpkin acreage this year, please see the information below from squash bee expert Susan Chan: your squash bees are entirely reliant on your crop. Following her advice will help ensure healthy pollinator populations for future crops of pumpkins and squash on your farm.

 

Maintaining Important Pollinators on your Pumpkin & Squash Crops

By Susan Willis Chan

The hoary squash bee is the most abundant flower visitor to pumpkin and squash crops in Ontario and most pumpkin and squash crops in the province depend upon it for pollination. This important pollinator only gathers pollen from pumpkin and squash to raise its young and has no wild host plants. It mates on pumpkin or squash flowers, and it rests there too during the afternoon and evening. If you wish to maintain strong populations of hoary squash bees on your farm next year and the following years, please plant at least an acre of pumpkin or squash on your farm. This will provide the nectar, pollen, mating sites, and resting sites that are critical to the survival of this important wild pollinator on your farm.  For more information please contact Susan Chan, dchan05@uoguelph.ca.

1 comment on “Maintaining Pumpkin and Squash Pollinators through 2020

  1. Jim Chaput

    The squash bee is one of many ground-nesting bee species critical to Ontario’s agricultural ecosystems and has been the subject of research conducted by Susan Chan and Dr. Nigel Raine at University of Guelph. Pumpkin and squash growers should pay careful attention to the insecticides used during the growing season to reduce risk to this important native pollinator.

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