The role of bees in pollination

Among the myriad of insects involved in pollination, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is by far the most effective. This dominance is accentuated in the case of plants of agricultural interest. If several hundred years of insect visitors, bees were 70-80, today, due to the gradual decline of wild pollinator species due to environmental conditions, the percentage rises to 90-95% of all visits of insects. Therefore can be considered as a professional bee pollination.

The pollinator function is also related to the collective organization of thousands of individuals and the life cycle of a bee colony. They alone, beating the winter mass, are prepared and with all their energy in the spring to the work of pollination begins in many acres of crop.

Looking back, we see that in a medium-sized colony of about 60,000 living individuals, of which 2/3 (about 40,000 approximately) more or less come out every day for pollen and nectar, with a daily frequency of 15 or 20 trips , during each of which visit of 30 to 50 flowers. Having made accounts for a single colony, reached in a day and the magnitude of millions of flowers visited daily. If we consider, for experiments, working an average radius of 1,500 m, each hive would be responsible for 700 hectares of land. If we also bear in mind that every flower yields to the bee nectar in quantities that are measured in milligrams for each kilo of honey it takes hundreds of thousands of hits. This brief review can give us an idea of ​​the magnitude of the phenomenon.

The great adaptability of the bee flora is any other point in his favor, let alone to be combined with strict adherence to a given plant species, as when bees have chosen a particular species, working with her until depleting their reserves of both nectar and pollen. In fact, carrying pollen on their legs are at 90% of cases, one particular species.

The current agricultural dimension adds value to its role as a professional bee pollination. The modernization of agriculture based on monocultures, protected crops, the use of hybridization and the increasing use of self-sterile varieties require significant work of pollination, concentrated in a short time and special codiciones (greenhouses).

And one reason for the predominance of the bee as a pollinator are not always positive and significant changes that human society has on the environment. The continued expansion of urban areas, deforestation, pollution, besides the type of agriculture we have just mentioned and especially the use of chemistry in mass quantities, often indiscriminate, to combat pests of crops, have caused the decline and total disappearance in some areas of wild pollinators: bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps, flies, beetles, etc., to some extent contributed to pollination.



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