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We Need Bees to Pollinate.....

posted Jun 9, 2011, 5:49 AM by Bob Whitney   [ updated Jun 14, 2011, 8:04 PM ]
    Bees can pay great dividends to folks in agriculture but unfortunately most growers forget that without bees you not only don't get a benefit you may actually suffer. One of my clients excitedly told me about his experience getting some beehives delivered. Before the bees he was thought his low yields were due to plant health or management, after bees he found out it was a lack of pollination. Of course, we do rely on native bees but if you plant crops that require pollination to produce and you plant a lot of those plants you may not have enough native bees to do the job. 
    All the cucurbits (watermelon, squash, cucumbers, etc.) require insect pollination and the majority of that comes from bees. One female watermelon flower requires 8 bee visits to be properly pollinated. In case you don't know, an improperly or poorly pollinated watermelon or cucumber is small on the end. This is because the fruit needs the hormones emitted by the developing seeds inside to fully develop. If the seed isn't pollinated it won't develop. Read more about pollination in this Florida Extension publication. (Click Here)