Wyman’s Blueberry Fields Buzzing 

The country’s largest wild blueberry grower had a good winter. Wyman’s of Maine says layers of snow kept their bushes well insulated.Now they’re hoping for a good harvest, and for that, they need to see lots of bees this month.”I did the math. It’s roughly 450 million bees we’re importing to work our fields,” says Nat Lindquist, vice president of operations for Jasper Wyman & Son.Without bees to pollinate their eight thousand growing acres, Wyman’s wouldn’t have blueberries. And since there aren’t enough native bees to cover their fields, they bring them in on trucks from other states.”They transport them here with a net to keep the bees in,” Lindquist says. “And they’ll water the trucks and the hives down as they transport them to keep the bees in.”Bee yards are set up throughout their fields for the ten thousand hives.”As the blossom develops and opens up, the bees have a sense of what to do and where to go, and they do a great job as long as mother nature gives us the good weather,” he says.Colony collapse disorder, which threatens bee populations, is still a big worry. “It hasn’t gone away. Nobody has truly defined what the real cause of it is. They’re still working on finding the cause.”It will take the imported bees three to four weeks to finish the job and get the plants ready for a good harvest.”We look very good right now. It’s very early to make any predictions and we won’t do any crop estimates until we’re fully pollinated,” Lindquist says.They’re hoping for good temperatures, some nice rain, and the same thing as everyone who makes a business off the land.”I’m just hoping,” he says, “there are no disastrous things that happen.”