PSHS main page    Folia Horticulturae

Current issue content   Search      

The effect of flower pollination by a honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) on fruit set and size of peach and nectarine fruit

Bożena Radajewska, Lucyna Andrzejewska

Department of Pomology
Faculty of Horticulture, Agricultural University
D±browskiego 159, 60-594 Poznań, Poland

The research was conducted from 1996-1998 in Wielkopolska, west Poland, in fallow land based on boulder clay. The subject of the study were the cultivars of peach trees: ‘Harbinger’, ‘Candor’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Royalvee’, ‘Sweethaven’, ‘Harken’, ‘Nr 569’, and ‘Iskra’, and of nectarine trees: ‘Durbin’, ‘Hardired’, ‘Fantasia’, and ‘Redgold’. The trees were planted in an unheated high plastic tunnel. Before blooming, selected tree branches were covered with insulators preventing pollination by insects flying around. During blooming a hive with honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) was introduced into the tunnel. The purpose of the study was the evaluation of possibilities of using a honeybee for pollination of the peach and nectarine cultivars studied in plastic tunnels. The contribution of bees to flower pollination had a positive effect on the increase in the number of fruit set and on average fruit weight. However, it was not equal in particular years and different for particular cultivars. The most advantageous effect of pollination by bees was observed in the second year of study on nectarine trees of the following cultivars: ‘Hardired’ and ‘Durbin’, the following year on ‘Iskra’ and ‘Sweethaven’ peaches, and ‘Durbin’, ‘Fantasia’, and ‘Redgold’ nectarines. In the first year much larger fruit was the result of cross-pollination rather than self-pollination. In the succeeding years the differences were small.

Radajewska B., Andrzejewska L., 2001. The effect of flower pollination by a honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) on fruit set and size of peach and nectarine fruit. Folia Horticulturae 13/2: 129-135.