Do bees influence the quality of your morning coffee?

Abstract

Bees provide valuable pollination services in agriculture. Still, it is unknown how cross-pollination by bees influences crop quality traits, which determine nutrition value and prices. This study tests how bees influence the coffee quality or trade-offs between yield over quality. We conducted bee-exclusion and hand-pollination experiments on a Costa Rican coffee farm controlling for factors usually associated with quality. After harvest, we evaluated coffee yield and quality attributes (i.e., aroma, taste) under standardized roasting and certified tasting protocols. Preliminary results show cross-pollination does not affect yield as previously reported – indicating potential trade-offs in resource allocation during berry production.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Taylor Ricketts

Status

Graduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Ecological Agriculture

Second Program/Major

Environmental Sciences

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Secondary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Abstract only.

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Do bees influence the quality of your morning coffee?

Bees provide valuable pollination services in agriculture. Still, it is unknown how cross-pollination by bees influences crop quality traits, which determine nutrition value and prices. This study tests how bees influence the coffee quality or trade-offs between yield over quality. We conducted bee-exclusion and hand-pollination experiments on a Costa Rican coffee farm controlling for factors usually associated with quality. After harvest, we evaluated coffee yield and quality attributes (i.e., aroma, taste) under standardized roasting and certified tasting protocols. Preliminary results show cross-pollination does not affect yield as previously reported – indicating potential trade-offs in resource allocation during berry production.