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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Constructing a Pollination and Nut Set Model

Location: Honey Bee Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Construct a WWW-based program to predict cross-pollination and nut set in almond orchards based on weather conditions, orchard design, and bee foraging population size.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A WWW-based model will be constructed that predicts cross-pollination and nut set in almond orchards. The model will be designed as a 3-tier architecture which will include a web presentation layer, a model logic layer, and a data access layer. The web presentation layer will be based on the ASP.NET technology to allow for a rich internet user experience. The data access layer will interface with the MySQL Server database engine, the standard at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center. The model logic layer will be written in the C# language. Once completed, the model will be able to be run from anyone with an internet connection using standard web browsers. Documents SCA with Crystal River.


3.Progress Report

This report documents research conducted under a Specific Cooperative Agreement between ARS and Crystal River. Additional details of research can be found in the report for the in-house associated project 5342-21000-015-00D, Improve Nutrition for Honey Bee Colonies to Stimulate Population Growth, Increase Queen Quality, and Reduce the Impact of Varroa Mites. The structure of WWW-based mathematical model to predict nut set in almond orchards was defined and programming of the software package is nearly complete. The screens that enable users to enter information and receive predictions in tabular and graphic form are being revised to make them easier to use. In addition to predicting nut set from honey bee pollination, we also added components to capture the foraging behavior of Osmia, a type of bee used to pollinate almonds. This will enable growers to simulate conditions where both honey bees and Osmia are present in orchards. Predictions from the model are being compared with actual field data. Predictions on the number of open blossoms and the timing of when bloom begins for each cultivar are very similar to actual field data. An initial version of the program is available on the internet at http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/almopol/. Monitoring of progress on this project is accomplished by conference calls, Laboratory meetings, annual reports and presentations to the Almond Board of California.


Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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