The high pollen count of blackberry flowers means the most effective pollinators are essential for high quality, especially in wet weather, says Biobest

Bumblebees are essential for producing high quality blackberries, especially in humid conditions, according to biological controls supplier Biobest.

“Blackberries distinguish themselves from other berries by the copious amounts of pollen the flowers produce,” explained Jurgen Bouveroux, Biobest advisor and a specialist in crop pollination. “In wet periods, I recommend deploying bumblebees. Highly effective pollinators, they collect all the pollen so that nothing is left behind.”

Excess pollen can become a breeding ground for fungi during wet periods, the company stated, affecting the quality of the fruit. In such conditions, Bouveroux advises growers to install one Standard Hive per 500m2.

“In drier periods less bumblebees are needed as over-pollination is also undesirable,” he said. “It is all about finding the right balance. At Biobest we provide tailor-made advice to ensure growers deliver higher volumes of larger, high quality fruit throughout the season.”