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Implications for bee management:


Understand factors affecting amount of bloom to determine optimum number of bees to release.

bulletEffect of cultural practices (clipping, fertilizer application, water management, planting density) on amount and dynamics of bloom.
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Slide 16 of 17  

Now that we understand better the dynamics of resource availability, one line of research that could be helpful is to understand how various cultural practices such as water management and clipping affect the height of the bloom peak (see previous slide show) and the rate of decline of bloom. If we could predict how much bloom the plant will produce, i.e., how high the peak bloom can get, then we could better assess how many bees it will take to keep that number of flowers pollinated within two days of bloom. Improvement in water management with irrigation scheduling, and subsurface drip irrigation are probably the most important cultural practices that growers can improve to increase their profits from alfalfa seed.