[NAFEX] Introduction of apples to North America

sdw12986 at aol.com sdw12986 at aol.com
Mon Nov 12 00:11:29 EST 2007


For what it's worth, I live in an area with zero honey bees. I have
lived here for 30 years now and only once, about 5 years ago, do I
believe I spotted a single honey bee on a white clover in my yard. He
flew away before I could get a really good look and I'm not sure even
that one was really a honey bee. (I have seen honey bees in good
numbers in neighboring towns as close as 20 miles away.)

Anyway, I have 4 apple trees and several other fruit trees. The apples
especially have a high fruit set and thinning is required in any year
with a normal number of flowers. My trees get pollinated by small
native bees and, sometimes, a few bumble bees.

Steve (In the Adirondacks)



-----Original Message-----
From: rob hamilton <lostman_amiga at yahoo.com>
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 6:00 pm
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Introduction of apples to North America

This site states:
"         When the English colonists arrived in North America they found only crab    apples. Crab apple trees are the only    native apples to the United States. European settlers arrived and    brought with them their English customs and favorite fruits. In colonial    time, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth. 
         1622 - Most historians fail to mention that those early    orchards produced very few apples because there were no honey bees.     Historical information indicates that colonies of honey bees were    shipped from England and landed in the Colony of Virginia early in 1622.    One or more shipments were made to Massachusetts between 1630 and 1633,    others probably between 1633 and
 1638. The Indians called the honeybees    "English flies" and/or “white man’s flies.” 

So does this mean that crab apples were not very productive either or are they more open to other types of pollinators?
Also I thought our native bees are very active during the apple flowering season and are now used for some apple production.
Though I can understand how honey bees would increase production, 
I would assume the native bees would still plenty of habitat to thrive and serve well.

I was also under the impression that Native Americans had there own types of fruit orchards before the Europeans arrived (whether there were crabapples or some other type of fruit...I dont know. 
 Am I wrong in all these assumptions?



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