[NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question

Dave Griffin griffingardens at earthlink.net
Wed May 11 15:59:41 EDT 2005


My plums also seem to be very dependant on the native bees in spite of
having 4 hives on the place - plum blossoms everywhere and the honey bees
are in the dandelions. Fortunately, the natives seem to have been on the
increase in the 3 years since my apricots began blooming and I am beginning
to think that the early food supply they provide may be a factor in their
increased population density now. 

For an excellent paper on plums in general, and especially on plum
pollinizers, by Rick Sawatsky of the U of Saskatchewan, go to
www.usask.ca/agriculture/plantsci/dom_fruit/   Click on Fruit Articles,
then Plums on the Prairies, then scroll down to "our recent experience". 
Their premise that there are no good hybrid pollinizers for hybrid plums,
you have to have native plums, is the basis for my having kept bouquets of
native plum blossoms in milk bottles tied into the trees throughout the
orchard all during this years bloom. My wild plum plantings are not yet
flowering so this is a stopgap until then. Native bee activity has been
high during the good times between the bad that make for a normal spring
here (high temp is 48 F today with snow predicted for tomorrow) and I am
expecting good results. Keep you posted as the season progresses.

Dave


> [Original Message]
> From: loneroc <loneroc at mwt.net>
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 5/11/05 8:35:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
>
> Jim,
>
> Although I maintain a couple hives for pollination--I notice that small
> native bees are the most frequent visitors to my plum blossoms.  I
> occasionally find honeybees on them, but not too often.
>
> I presume that you have the native bees as well--maybe you could observe
> them closely to see if they're only going after pollen or if they're
finding
> nectar, too.
>
> Steve Herje, Lone Rock, WI
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at uslink.net>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 7:57 AM
> Subject: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
>
>
> >    When my plum trees are in bloom, it is a spectacular site.  Folks
> driving
> > by stop to stare but the honey bees don't seem to even notice the masses
> of
> > white blooms.  They just fly right over them as though they can't see
all
> of
> > the flowers.  I used to wonder if my honey bees were either lazy or
going
> > after better flowers.
> >    This year the bloom is late and the plums and black currants are
> blooming
> > concurrently, an event that I've not witnessed before.  Black Currants
> have
> > relatively insignificant, almost green flowers and the bees had no
trouble
> > finding them.  That leads me to rethink my prejudice(?) about honey bees
> and
> > plum blossoms.  So I ask, "Do plum blossoms not have nectar to attract
> honey
> > bees?"  Do honey bees frequent the plum flowers in your orchard?
> > -- 
> >
> > Jim Fruth
> > Brambleberry Farm
> > Pequot Lakes, MN
> > www.bberryfarm.com
> >
> >
> >
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