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Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

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Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 10:27 pm

I read a post where someone had netting over their strawberries so the birds couldn't get to them. They also left the corners open so that the bees could get in to pollinate them. Does this really work? I have several strawberry blooms and some berries ripening and don't want to lose them to the birds again. Any advice appreciated!

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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  laurainwinona on 6/1/2011, 10:31 pm

I have bird netting that has openings large enough for bees to get through but not birds. I've seen bumble bees navigate it pretty well. My stawberries are fruiting like crazy, so some bees or other insects must have gotten through. Smile
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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 10:43 pm

The netting I have is a very fine tulle to keep out undesirable bugs and birds. The holes are not large enough for bees to go through so I am wondering if leaving the corners open will be enough to let pollinators in.

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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/1/2011, 11:10 pm

jymarino wrote:The netting I have is a very fine tulle to keep out undesirable bugs and birds. The holes are not large enough for bees to go through so I am wondering if leaving the corners open will be enough to let pollinators in.

The very fine tulle is great for keeping insects out, I use it myself and have been very happy with the results, but,
I only use tulle on plants that do not need to be pollinated.

If you can pick up some bird netting, that would better protect your strawberries from birds (not insects) while still allowing insect pollination. I am not sure just leaving the corners of tulle open will encourage the bees to go in and pollinate. I thank you are taking a big chance there.

Strawberries really need insect pollination in order to bear big well shaped fruit. If you only have wind pollination, you may get some strawberries, but they tend to be misshapen "nubbins" rather than full sized strawberries because only part of the flower gets pollianted.

Of course, if you want to you could go in every day and hand pollinate every flower Rolling Eyes
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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 11:27 pm

Ummm, no I think I'd rather not do that. Actually I just remembered that I do have a roll of bird netting in the garage that I've never opened yet. Maybe I'll pull that out tomorrow and see how big the holes are and if they will allow pollinators in.

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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  WendySue67 on 6/2/2011, 12:37 am

I have regular bird netting over my plants to keep out birds and other animals and I see bees flying in and out all the time.

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Re: Will bees really go under the bird netting to get to the flowers?

Post  CindiLou on 6/2/2011, 11:26 am

I have tulle over my strawberry bed. This is the way I always do it. The birds stay out but the ends are open for the pollinators. I always have bees going in and out.

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