Pollination day in Hardanger

On May 5th, Norce researcher Etienne Dunn-Sigouin and PhD candidate Manuel Hempel performed fieldwork in the Hardanger Fjord, which is among Norway’s main fruit production areas. They were invited by the Norwegian beekeeping association to join a joint 2-day pollination workshop bringing together 45 local fruit producers and beekeepers to discuss the importance of pollination for fruit quality and yield.

Having worked both with beekeepers and fruit producers within the agricultural node Manuel presented the Climate Futures Center and the ongoing work on improving the management of current and future climate risks in agriculture. The event thematically linked together several ongoing pilot projects within the agricultural node, such as the fruit group (Gartnerhallen), improved frost forecasting (Norsk Regnesentral) and the BeeWare project (Norce), which all investigate the potential of long-term climate and frost forecasts for fruit farmers and beekeepers.

During the 6-week blooming period from late April to June, these 2 interest groups naturally interact when around 250 beehives are moved into the fjord for pollination services. This is a vulnerable period and the local weather conditions at this time can have a crucial impact on the turnout of the overall season.

Manuel and Etienne used the opportunity of the event to collect data on user needs for long-term forecasts, visit farms and interview local beekeepers and fruit producers.