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3038RE: How much bee pollinated food we eat - bracketing the answer

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  • pollinator2001
    Nov 18, 2013
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      ---In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, <sdroege@...> wrote:

      >We can pretty easily knock off wheat, corn, and shellfish as not bee pollinated.

      I appreciate your thoughts, and I have been immensely enjoying this thread.

      But I just HAD to throw this into the mix. I have videos of bees in great number (mostly honey bees, but some bumbles) on cort tassels. When I shot into the sunlight, you could see the pollen drifting off the tassels in clouds, from the bees' activity. Some of that pollen had to have landed on the silks of adjacent stalks.

      It likely was not a major contribution to the corn pollination, but it was not insignificant either, especially if there were a windless period during pollen shed. So it's very had to speak in absolutes.

      Even the mix of bees is greatly variable in my garden from one year to the next. And I can often find a significantly different mix, just by visiting another garden just a few miles away.

      That's not to speak of another can of worms: Many plants are claimed to be self pollinating, when they definitely need pollinators. They are merely self fertile and self pollenizing.

      A good example is my potted "Lisbon" lemon tree, which was claimed to be self pollinating. One year I was slow in putting it outside, and numerous blossoms dropped without setting fruit. Once I put it outside, the bees jumped on the blossoms, and immediately I had fruit set. Obviously it was self fertile; there was no other citrus in miles. But it also was obviously not self pollinating.

      Dave Green
      Retired pollination contractor
      Coastal SC


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