2311RE: [beemonitoring] Sources for Plant Nectar
- Sep 4, 2012
Jack is right, I would not want to hand collect enough nectar for feeding for most plants. If you resort to centrifugation, keep the RPMs down, as I found with alfalfa buds that you can also extract phloem sap! If I were to manually collect nectar from one readily available plant, it would be a summer squash, esp zucchini. Each flower has a veritable lake of nectar in it (up to 120 ul) that is readily removed with a syringe (ideally with a blunt-tipped one). Mature buds can be bagged the night before so you aren’t competing with bees early the next morning. If you live in a place where bat-pollinated flowers can be grown or grow, then there are some other options like this (e.g. agave and some bat-pollinated vines). But for sheer convenience, squash.
James H. Cane
USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA
tel: 435-797-3879 FAX: 435-797-0461
web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab
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