The public is invited to take a walk through a productive blueberry barren on top of Appleton Ridge to explore the link between pollinators and Maine blueberry production.

Francis Drummond, professor of Insect Ecology and Insect Pest Management and blueberry Extension pollination specialist, will join Georges River Land Trust Friday, July 29, at 4 p.m. in Appleton to discuss wild blueberry production and its link with pollination.

Dr. Drummond’s research topics have included: wild blueberry production, blueberry plant reproductive ecology, agricultural production practices that affect pollination and vegetative growth, and evolutionary tradeoffs in flowering.

Maine blueberry producers depend on bees to pollinate this cash crop. Blueberries fail to produce large quantities of berries without pollination. This means blueberry producers must bring in hives of bees to pollinate these fields. In recent years Colony Collapse Disorder has led declines in bee numbers and an increase in pollination costs to Maine producers. Dr. Drummond will discuss the challenges facing pollinators like honey bees and the effect on Maine Blueberries.

Bring cameras for the beautiful view and park at the gravel lot near Perry’s pond on Appleton Ridge Road in Appleton. Directions from Searsmont: Drive south on 131 for a half mile and turn right on Appleton Ridge Road and continue for five miles until you see expansive blueberry fields and a small gravel parking lot at the end of the field. From the South: Drive north on Route 131 from Route 17 for 5.4 miles and take a left on Town Hill Road. Drive 0.8 miles and take a right on Appleton Ridge Road. The gravel parking will be 0.4 miles on the left.

This walk is organized in cooperation with the University of Maine and is free and open to the public. For more information please visit georgesriver.org or call 594-5166.