The race to save blueberries in Down East A new breed of fruit fly is imperiling the crop in Maine ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Workers in Maine filled hand-held scoops and poured blueberries into tubs — the first of more than 80 million pounds of berries to be harvested and frozen in the next few weeks. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff This year's crop is threatened, however, by a red-eyed, weak-flying fruit fly. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff The spotted wing drosophila first showed up in New England in 2011 and threatens not just blueberries, but also raspberries, blackberries, and late-season strawberries. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Judy Collins, an assistant scientist at the University of Maine School of Biology and Ecology, said the fly "can cause terrible losses." Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Collins's team is experimenting to see whether a yeast-and-sugar solution could attract the flies away from the berries. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Its rapid reproduction rate — 10-12 generations in a year — and the suddenness of its appearance make it worrisome for soft-fruit farmers across the nation. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Some farmers are hiring more pickers or trying to ramp up their freezing operations to prevent devastating losses. Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff Ed Flanagan, president and chief executive of Jasper Wyman & Son, said he was confident the company would conquer the pest.