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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Watching the pollen dancers

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  • From: "David Consolvo" <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Watching the pollen dancers
  • Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 10:31:09 -0400

Excellent post as usual, Alan! If you're ever traveling through central
Virginia, I'd
enjoy meeting you. Feel free to use my house as a hotel on your travels.
~David Consolvo
just south of Charlottesville

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Alan Haigh <>
Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 07:36:14 -0500

>Cool early spring weather seems to have condensed the blooming period of the
>various apricots, apples, pears, peaches, cherries and plums in my orchard
>this year. The apricots are usually distinctly early, but this year they
>strongly overlapped with J. plums which are now overlapping with everything
>With all these trees blooming at the same time and during weather not much
>getting out of the ‘60’s, with lots of breeze, I’m viewing the
>actions of
>the buzz-boys (well, mostly girls) with particular interest and concern.
>there be enough players to tend to the task at hand?
>Yesterday at around noon I wasn’t too pleased with the turn out- the buzz
>was no buzz- but as the cool day warmed slightly into afternoon the ballet
>began. In the pear fence I have around my vegetable garden the wasps and
>honey bees arrived to tend the blossoms.
>My neighbor over a quarter mile up the road from me started a honey bee hive
>last year and apparently his bees are flying through the woods to find what
>must be Eden to them, with most of my nursery and orchard trees in bloom at
>once. I don’t believe I saw any honey bees here last year as wild
>have disappeared.
>This year these bees have joined my wasps, carpenter bees, syrphid flies and
>other unidentified members of my pollination troupe and it’s very nice to
>have them back.
>Carpenter bees are often bashed as destructive pests, not just to wood
>structures but sometimes to fruit blossoms themselves, destroying flowers to
>get to the pollen. However my CB’s are heroes as the wood damage is minor
>and their efforts herculean in getting out and working the flowers of most
>of the species of fruit I grow in weather that keeps others away.
>Blueberries are supposed to be common victims of their destructive behavior
>but they never seem to damage the flowers of my plants and are often the
>only insects tending them.
>As I walked around the rest of my orchard there was a decent showing of
>pollinators, with different species favoring different species of fruit.
>not nearly as active as during warmer springs when the buzz is almost scary
>loud but I’m hopeful the action will be adequate to bring about a good
>Spring is the season for high hopes, after all.
>One thing that interested me was how everything in bloom seemed to have some
>insects harvesting pollen except the plentiful dandelions in beautiful bloom
>everywhere under the fruit trees. I’ve often read how dandelions attract
>bees at the expense of fruit blossoms but the opposite seemed to be
>I’ve never found dandelions to be a problem and wonder if this concern is
>something researched based or one of those items that are often in the mix
>with verified information that just gets passed on with the good
>I remember reading a few years back in a NY Times list of best ideas of the
>year, of a research project that evaluated common medical advice given by
>doctors that found that a very high percentage of it was not based on actual
>research but was instead either leaps based on assumptions drawn from
>research but not directly proven or purely hearsay. Got to believe there’s
>a lot of that going around in horticulture and agriculture as well.
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