[nafex] Pollen Grains

Raby, Brian {20-4~Indianapolis} BRIAN.RABY at ROCHE.COM
Thu May 10 13:22:26 EDT 2001


I made an interesting observation about this the other day... With my
strawberries coming on, I noticed no bee activity on the flowers and was
concerned I would have a crop this year.  As I walked toward my house, I
notice a honeybee taking nectar from a dandelion in my lawn.  Flashing an
idea, I carefully picked the dandelion flower and placed it amongst the
strawberry flowers thinking she would find a new source of food and fly back
to tell her other sisters.  
 
The bee eventually walked off the dandelion, sniffed around the strawberry
flower, then walked back to the dandelion and began to forage.  When it was
finally finished, it flew up, circled around and relanded back on the
dandelion flower again.  This told me two things:  the "flavor" of the
dandelion nectar was more appealing than the strawberry, and two, it was
attracted to the yellow color of the dandelion.  This is why researcher, ag
agents, etc.. tell you to keep your orchard floor free of dandelions during
bloom periods.  They are more attracted to them then the fruit trees, which
will ultimately effect your fruit set.
 
Brian
Sheridan, IN
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Yellman [mailto:dyellman at earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 12:01 PM
To: nafex at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [nafex] Pollen Grains


Gianni:
    Pollen grains vary somewhat in size, and, of course, in color, but
in general are microscopic in size and thus not visible to the naked
eye.  When magnified, many pollen grains look like little spiny sea
urchins, which is what irritates many people's allergies.  When
concentrated together, as on the pollen baskets of a bee, they are
highly visible and brightly colored.
    No, self-fertile/self-pollinating has nothing to do with it, and
there are no oils or other invisible substances involved, insofar as I
know.
    Yes, I believe manual pollination definately helps, especially in
the absence of pollinating insects.

    Bees are attracted by both color and odor, which is why most flowers
have both.


Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA



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