The seed lucerne industry in Australia produces around $AUD 38 million worth of seeds annually. It is generally recognised that improved pollination would increase yield. This report summarises a proof-of-concept study to investigate the efficacy of some common Australian native bee species to pollinate lucerne. Over the course of two years, the project evaluated the utility of some bees for the pollination of lucerne in captivity and in the field, and investigated methods to enhance these bees in the crop environment.
This report is relevant to the pasture seeds industry in particular and more generally to growers of crops that profit from bee pollination (e.g. lucerne, canola, cotton, and many horticultural crops).