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Taylor Ricketts, Rubenstein School

Crop pollination field work begins

What is value of wild pollinators to Vermont's food system?

Bumble bee pollinating Vermont's famous blueberries

This summer Taylor started up what he hopes will be a long-term research project on the ecology and economics of crop pollination services in Vermont.  

Working with field assistant extraordinaire Anna Beuchemin, Taylor sampled pollinators to blueberry, tomato, and summer and winter squashes on 8 farms in the Champlain Valley.  The goals this year were to get to know the local agricultural landscape, build a reference collection of crop pollinators, test and refine sampling methods, and build relationships with farmers.

With this basis, we'll be spending the year taking a look at our data, writing more focused proposals, recruiting a graduate student, and preparing for "real" field work next spring and summer.

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