Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

Committee Director

Lisa A. Horth

Committee Member

Deborah A. Waller

Committee Member

Thomas E. Chapman


Agriculture is the cornerstone of our economy, and pollination plays a vital role in nearly all non-wind pollinated crops. Declining honey bee populations have caused a more diligent investigation into using solitary bees for crop pollination. The native, solitary Orchard Mason Bee has shown to successfully pollinate almonds and apples, but there has been little work conducted on their effectiveness as a low fruit crop pollinator. This study assesses their effectiveness as a small strawberry farm pollinator, and preferences for nesting materials. Mason bee cocoons and nest homes made with different materials (bamboo, Phragmites, or wood) were supplemented on a side of each of nine family-owned farms. Fruit volumes were compared between treatment and the control sides of the farms where no additions were made. Mean strawberry volumes were greater and had faster growth rates on the treatment sides. There was higher occupancy in nest homes tubes made with bamboo.


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