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Bees pollinate a third of what we eat and play a vital role in preserving our planet’s ecosystems. About 84% of crops grown for human consumption need pollination by bees and other insects to improve their quality and yield. Thanks to bee pollination, not only the yields of fruits, berries, and seeds are grown, but also the quality of agricultural products.
Whether you are a professional beekeeper or just an amateur, these are the seven fruits and vegetables that are highly dependent on bee pollination:
This is a great snack for those who take care of their fitness; in addition, it is very useful for health, so we put it at the top of our list. The yield of almonds is very much dependent on honeybee pollination.
Studies have shown that the absence of bees and other wild pollinating insects reduces the yield of almonds much more than the lack of fertilizers or lack of moisture. In the case of sufficient pollination, the almond tree gives a higher yield of nuts; in addition, their nutritional properties change the content of vitamin E increases. Almonds can be used as a great snack.
The world’s largest apple producer is China, followed by the United States, Turkey, Italy, and France. In whatever form we use them – raw or as a pie filling – without bees, there is no cross-pollination necessary to produce apples to the extent to satisfy the current demand for them.
As a rule, the swarm is released for pollination when about 5% of the buds are already in bloom: this encourages the bees to start their work immediately. For pollination of apple trees, 2-3 hives per hectare are considered sufficient. An apple flower may need to be visited four or five times by bees to get enough pollen grains to fully fertilize.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of this berry: in 2020, 132 thousand tons of garden and wild blueberries were harvested there.
Bumblebees are able to visit more flowers per minute than other pollinators, and because they have long tongues, it is easy for them to collect nectar from blueberry flowers. This is important because blueberries have a bell-shaped corolla shape. The nectar is released at the base of the pistil, so to extract it, the insect needs to push the tongue between the staminate filaments.
It is a great choice for salads in the hot summer months. Cool, fresh, and crunchy to the taste, cucumbers are often added to salads, sandwiches, and drinks. Without bees, it is impossible to get a cucumber crop in most cases.
In greenhouses, the increase in the yield of cucumbers reaches 40% when placing five hives with bees at the rate of approximately 12,500 insects for every 1/15 ha. Beehives are recommended to be placed in such a way that their bottom is at the level of the tops of vegetables. You should also provide enough space for the bees to move freely around. Between the plants, you need to place containers of water so that the bees can drink from them.
Have you ever seen bees hovering over the globular umbrellas of an onion when it is in bloom? This is a very beautiful picture.
Honey bees visit onion flowers to collect nectar and pollen, but when producing hybrid varieties, only nectar collectors visit both sterile and fertile male onion flowers. Usually, onions are not very attractive to bees, so more chances of pollination success will be with more numerous colonies – 30 swarms or more.
You can make so many things with them: from lanterns to beef stew with pumpkin, and pumpkin pie. If there were no pumpkins, the world would lose many delicious dishes and precious traditions.
Agrotechnical tools, as a result of which certain conditions are created in the soil cover, can affect the number of pollinators. As a rule, the pollinators of pumpkins are bees that nest on the ground. Queen bees collect pollen and nectar from the flowers of pumpkin crops (for examples, such as large-fruited pumpkin and common pumpkin). They are especially active in the early morning, and by 10 o’clock in the morning, their activity gradually decreases.
Ripe strawberries have a bright, distinct flavor. The zinc contained in strawberries, the richness of their taste and sweetness – all this makes strawberries truly magical berries.
For the strawberries to fully mature, they need about 21 visits by bees. One strawberry berry can contain 400-500 seeds (or small seeds), which are located on its surface. The more fully formed seeds, the larger and tastier the strawberries will be, the more perfect even its shape will be.
In the past, the pollination process was completely natural, with no apparent cost to humans. However, according to information from different regions, as arable land expands and agrochemicals are used more actively, the number of pollinator populations decreases. Hence, it becomes necessary for managed beehive colonies to carry out this vital process.