Pollinators and honey berries

This research from Lublin, Poland affirms the common knowledge about honey berries. They need insect pollination, and fruit size is related to the number of seeds per fruit. They are pollinated by honey bees, solitary bees and bumble bees. Flowers that were bagged and isolated showed less than 25% fruit set, whereas flowers exposed to insect pollinators had more than 88% fruit set. Interesting that honey bees don’t really enter the picture in Alaska because bloom time is so early, temperatures are still relatively cool, and honey bees are still shivering in their hives. Bumble bees, by far, are the most important pollinator in Alaska.

Bozek, M. 2012. The effect of pollinating insects on fruiting of two cultivars. Journal of Apicultural Science. 56(2):5-11.

S u m m a r y: In 2004 and 2006-2008, a study was conducted on the effect of pollinating insects on the fruit, seed set, and development of two cultivars of blue honeysuckle Lonicera caerulea (Sevast.) Pojark.: Atut andDuet”. The experiment was carried out in south-eastern Poland, at the Experimental Farm of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland. Flowers accessible to pollinating insects throughout the whole fl owering period, set fruit at a very high percentage. The study average was 90.57% for “Duet” and 88.08% for “Atut”. During self-pollination under isolation, on the other hand, the percentage of fruit-bearing fl owers was low. In the case of “Atut” the average was 9.37%, whereas for “Duet” it was 23.85%. Multiple fruits formed from isolated fl owers had a 45-50% lower weight, on average, than those developed from fl owers accessible to pollinating insects. The pollination mode was found to have a signifi cant effect on the number of seeds produced in the multiple fruit. Flowers which were isolated to prevent insect foraging did develop multiple fruits, characterized by a signifi cantly lower number of seeds. The recent studies confi rm that several cultivars should be planted on honeysuckle acreage. The presence of managed pollinators can increase quantity and improve quality of fruit yield in honeysuckle.

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