The Value of Bees in Seedless Citrus Plots

June 27, 2019

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Photographer: Menashe Davidson 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson 

As a result of pollination seeds are made that create offspring for the next generation. Pollination by insects (entomophily) often occurs on plants that have developed colored petals and a strong scent to attract insects. Most citrus are superior in nectar production, and thus an abundance of bees and other insects are found in citrus groves. But the existence of seedless citrus varieties raises the question if pollination is required in these trees to achieve a good yield of fruit?

The photos above show young fruits of two seedless citrus varieties; the Shamouti sweet orange and Tahiti lime. Both have a high percentage of fruit setting, the process in which flowers become fruit without the involvement of the grower (beehives, hormones). Controversy continues about the commercial effect of bee pollination on seedless citrus crop varieties. Nonetheless, bees in citrus groves contribute to the beekeepers premium and high-quality honey crop. Photos taken on April 22, 2019, in my citrus plantation near Tira, Israel.



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