2537Re: [beemonitoring] What Plants are ONLY pollinated by native bees and not by honeybees?
- Jan 3, 2013Dear Sam:Here is an excellent opportunity for zoo visitors to learn the different between foraging vs. pollination. Signage should reflect this. Many bees visit the same flower but the big question is whether the bee contacted BOTH the receptive stigmas and dehiscent anthers while foraging. Just because you see a honeybee on a flower doesn't mean it's pollinating anything. The same applies to all native bees. Lasioglossum and other halictid species have a wonderful time taking nectar from the endangered, Ascplepias meadii, here in the midwest but they NEVER withdraw the pollinarium.Jim Cane is right. Stick to the native species of wild flowers and shrubs that have porose-poricidal anthers requiring thoracic vibration since honeybees can't do that. If this little garden has a nice, shady component you can add any of our shooting stars, Dodecatheon species (some are now grown commercially and remain pretty robust in a shade garden). Then there is the matter of "goodness of fit." After six years of field study we can assure you that Apis mellifera can't pollinate either Cypripedium montanum or its sister species, C. parviflorum (both varieties pubescent and var. parviflorum). Why? Apsil mellifera is too being to escape from the orchid's sac by the rear exits (which take the bee under the receptive stigma. What about the reluctance of Apis mellifera to forage upside-down compared to bumblebees that happily invert themselves for nectar and/or pollen. Dutchman's breeches ( Dicentra cuccularia) are also grown commercially and can be purchased with Dodecatheon. Check the original study by Walter Macior and I think you will find that only Bombus spp. are true pollinators.PeterOn Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:All:I have been working with the National Zoo here in Washington D.C. as a bee adviser. As part of their new outdoor bee and pollinator exhibit they would like to have a set of plants that are only pollinated by native bees and would not be pollinated by honeybees.I can think of plants that are inefficiently pollinated by honeybees, but because of my weakness in pollination biology am not sure of what plants are ONLY pollinated by native bee species.Perhaps some of the orchids? Super tiny flowers? Native Wisterias? I am grasping here....so help me out.Are any flowers actually always avoided by honeybees because of the composition of nectar/pollen as opposed to simply the flower's physical characteristics?I have copied Elaine Soulanille from the zoo this email so go ahead and copy her on replies.Thankssam--Bees are Not Optional
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