Strawberries are a multi-billion dollar crop, and the market for them is global due to their wonderful flavor. Unless an unfortunate person has a strawberry allergy or other intolerance, the chances are good that strawberries list among that individual’s favorite fruits. Because of the popularity of the small red berries, technological and chemical advancements have been pursued that allow for greater yields and better, bigger berries…at least as far as size and taste go.
But, the strawberry industry has a darker underbelly. Strawberries that are grown commercially in California, Florida, North Carolina, and elsewhere find themselves at the top of the notorious “Dirty Dozen” list of the top twelve most-contaminated produce items. Strawberries can have pest and pathogen problems, and chemicals are generally used to kill them off. Research is showing, however, that conventional practices are detrimental to environmental biodiversity, whether or not such practices are harmful to humans (which is hotly debated).
What the new research is showing is that strawberry plants grown under organic conditions are much more favored by bees and other pollinators. The 12 farms in Sweden that were part of the study showed a 28% higher pollination rate as well as few deformed strawberries than the conventionally-grown ones. Also, while it is still not known what is threatening the honey bee population and causing colony collapse, the authors of the research postulate that adopting organic farming methods may contribute to improved bee health.
For more, see the summarized article here: Organic Strawberries: Better for Honeybees