With the decline of honeybee populations, fruit growers have been looking for alternatives to pollinate their crops. Native bees can be the solution, and mason bees are a more effective pollinator in the orchard than the honeybee. Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 18,Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions. The Mason Bee [ Osmia spp. Although it is gregarious, preferring to nest near others of its kind, it is classified as a solitary bee, like the ground-dwelling and carpenter bees.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Some Trees to Plant for Honey Bees!Content:
- Trees for bees: the right species
- Ornamental Trees for Bees
- Pollinator Supportive Trees
- Pollination in Fruit Trees
- Cooperative Extension: Tree Fruits
- Planting for bees
- Did you know
- Want Bees? Plant These!
Trees for bees: the right species
We are dependent on pollinators for every source of food that we eat. Fruits and vegetables require pollination. For example, a squash plant cannot produce a zucchini and an apple tree cannot produce an apple without the help of a pollinator. If there were no pollinators, we would literally starve to death. Most of us are familiar with honeybees and know that their ability to produce honey is all about their diligent efforts to harvest pollen from many, many plants.
But did you know that New Mexico has over species of native bees? This is more than any other state in the nation. Not only do all these different species of bees serve to pollinate the plants we depend on for food, but they pollinate the flowers and shrubs living in the landscapes and greenspaces that are found within our communities. They pollinate the trees in our yards and our parks, the very trees that provide us with shade on those long New Mexico summer days.
A short list of pollinators includes not only honey and native bees, but also butterflies, moths, an assortment of flies yes, flies! Like all creatures, pollinators are dependent on living where sources for food and water are abundant.
And in the case of pollinators, other than honeybees, that habitat must also provide shelter. This means that the urban landscapes throughout your neighborhood, including parks and other greenspaces, provide vital habitat for pollinators of all sorts and sizes. If you want to support pollinators, there are some natural and simple ways to provide habitat that support pollinators and are also good for humans.
First, encourage your city to expand its greenspace and to landscape it with native plants that support wildlife. Second, provide habitat within the landscape surrounding your home.
Even the landscape surrounding an apartment complex can provide habitat for many pollinators. When choosing plants for any landscape, always consider planting species that are not only native to New Mexico but also pollinator friendly.
And finally, remember that when you choose to use a pesticide it kills not only the insect you are hoping to get rid of, but all of your beneficial insects as well including the pollinators. Below is a short list of some of the trees that not only do well in our climate, but that pollinators love. These trees provide both a source of pollen and nectar. And of course, they just happen to add beauty to your surrounding landscape as well. Generally, natives and native cultivars will work best.
But there are some from other environmentally similar regions of the world that do well in New Mexico. Any Fruit Tree — How great is this?
Pollinators love the nectar and pollen while they increase fruit set allowing you to enjoy the resulting bumper crop. Be advised that ornamental fruit trees are mostly self-pollinating and are therefore less attractive to pollinators, while heirloom or native fruits are very attractive. Willows Salix sp. As early bloomers, willows are very important as a spring source of pollen. Willows have added value for wind and visual screening; basketry material; and some add particular visual interest due to form or bark color.
Be careful when planting willows. They are a water loving species and can quickly invade pipes carrying water below the ground. Honey Mesquite Prosopis glandulosa — Yes, the mesquite flowers early in the season provide an early source of pollen, but this tree cannot survive extremely cold temperatures and will do best only in the southern regions of New Mexico.
It is a relative of the New Mexico Locust Robinia neomexicana and other locust varieties also known to be great trees for pollinators. Most of them are also good at building healthy soil as they naturally add nitrogen through their roots interaction with air, water and carbon.
Catalpa Catalpa sp. In late spring and early summer, they have large showy white blossoms that pollinators feast on. These blossoms produce long dark brown seed pods that feed birds and other wildlife throughout the late fall and winter. While they are a good habitat tree, they require supplemental watering and heat stress can cause them to defoliate during intense summer temperatures.
Linden Tilia sp. Honeybees that harvest pollen from the Linden make a wonderfully rich honey. This is a large tree so plant it where there is lots of room. Small white flowers will attract bees to this small shrubby maple and are followed by winged seeds helicoptering to the ground a little later.
It was developed for alkaline soils of the Rocky Mountain west. Japanese Pagoda Sophora japonica — This tree is especially valuable to honeybees in mid to late summer when little else is blooming.
Profuse white blossoms make it an attractive tree for the home landscape. Tulip Poplars Liriodendron tulipifera — Native to eastern US and somewhat uncommon in New Mexico the tulip poplar adapts well to many climates and grows fast. Its bark is dark brown and furrowed. Deep red winter buds are followed in April-May by lovely yellow blossoms that resemble a profusion of tulips unfolding. It provides an abundance of food for pollinators and is beautiful in the landscape.
Ashes Fraxinus — Most type of ash do well in New Mexico and are anywhere from a medium to large tree shade tree in size. Ash trees are presently not being recommended for planting owed to the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest that has eliminated all but a few of the mature ash trees throughout the upper Midwest United States. However, there are varieties that appear to be less susceptible to the borer and they are still available in local nurseries and provide great habitat for pollinators and shade for human beings.
This is a sign of the emerald ash borer having entered your tree. This tail-tale sign is not difficult to observe. If you see it and suspect your tree has them, contact your County Extension Agent immediately to notify them. When the female is in bloom you will only know it for the sound of bees gathering pollen at a time when little else is available.
The fall fruit is small, football shaped, a dark purple and provides the birds food throughout the winter. Chokecherry Prunus virginiana — A small tree that works well as an understory tree with requiring only 6 hours a day or filtered sunlight.
It blossoms in spring with white weeping spires. The fruits although mostly pit, make an amazing jelly and syrup.
It is both cold and heat tolerant and provides beautiful fall color in yellows and russet reds. These blossoms are early food for bee populations and develop into light brown pods that birds will and other wildlife will feast upon. Its leaves follow and are heart shaped. It prefers to be multi-trunked but can be pruned to a single stem. Willow salix spp. All willows produce catkins like pussy willow in early spring. See picture below. Catkins are rich in nectar and pollen and willows provide great habitat for not only pollinators, but also many other beneficial insects.
Willows are also often the first tree to leaf out. Warning, do not plant a willow near water pipes or a septic system. They love water! Pollinators love them. It grows best where the environment is hot and dry. It is not cold hearty and grows best in the lower half of the state.
Kentucky Coffee Tree Gumnocladus dioicus — A new tree also from the pea family that is being introduced to the SW, this tree is large and a great one for shade. It is drought and pollution resistant. This makes the coffee tree a valuable option for providing a full growing season habitat.
Its inconspicuous blossoms in April are a great source of food for pollinators and its fall acorns an excellent food source for other wildlife. It is tolerant of drought and both dry and clay soils.
Chankapin oak Muehlenbergii — One of the faster growing oaks, this is also a great tree to plant as a resource for pollinators. Its April blossoms are narrow clusters in spring that provide dark colored acorn fruits in the fall. They are a wildlife favorite.
Utah Serviceberry Amelanchier utahensis — More a small shrub than tree, this hardy multi-stemmed plant produces lovely white blossoms in earliest spring just as the ground begins to thaw and pollinators are desperate for something to feed on. Golden Raintree Koelreuteria paniculate — With long multi-branching yellow spires of blossoms in early to mid-summer, this tree provides an excellent food source for pollinators at a time when most trees have long stopped feeding them.
Originally from the Asian continent and highly adaptable to varying soils and environments, it has become a popular landscape tree throughout the US. It can tolerate dry alkaline soil, something we have a lot of in New Mexico. You will hardly notice the blossom but will hear the many species of bees feeding on them. Because it waits till the very heat of the summer, it provides a food source for pollinators when it is most needed. Lacebark Elm Ulmus parvifolia — A beautiful medium to large shade tree, it is known for its beautiful patchwork bark.
This tree is hearty and heat and drought tolerant. Unlike the Siberian elm often mistakenly called the Chinese elm it is not susceptible to Dutch elm disease and does not set prolific seed during high spring winds. Its leaves are small to medium in size, breaking down easily over the southwestern winter and turn a lovely yellow in the fall. Unusually late in leafing out, this tree adds color and character to the landscape and blooms from early July through September.
Once mature 10 to 12 years its bark becomes uniquely smooth patches of different shades of tan and gray adding striking interest to the landscape. Check with your County Extension Agent , Extension Master Gardeners , or a local nursery for best adapted varieties for your elevation and location is NM. For more information on pollinators and how to support them check out the Xerces Society website. Photo courtesy of Terry Ahlert. Your email address will not be published.
Ornamental Trees for Bees
Home » Bee Blog » Do honey bees eat fruit? T he short answer is yes. Honey bees, especially in a nectar dearth, find ripe fruit very much to their liking. They have been known to feast on plums, peaches, grapes, apples, figs, and pears. But the issue that causes all the disagreement among beekeepers is whether honey bees will actually drill a hole in a fruit or if they simply use pre-existing breaks in the skin created by a wasp, stink bug, beetle, bird, or some other creature.
A European honey bee pollinates a peach flower while collecting nectar. Pollination of fruit trees is required to produce seeds with surrounding fruit. It is.
Pollinator Supportive Trees
With the recent decline in honeybee populations, it's more important than ever to plant your garden with these productive pollinators in mind. By including an array of plants that provide pollen and nectar in your garden, you can help undo some of the damage to their population caused by modern agricultural practices and pesticide use. You don't need a meadow full of flowers to help the honeybee; planting one or two of the top pollen- and nectar-bearing trees also benefits this little insect. To keep bees coming back to your garden, avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides. Most fruit trees will provide forage to bees, but apple Malus domestica , plum Prunus domestica and cherry Prunus avium trees are some of the most bee-attracting trees you can include in your garden. These trees grow well in U. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10 with many varieties being suited to specific growing regions.
Pollination in Fruit Trees
Sign up to our emails to keep up to date with our campaigns and how you can get involved, including whether you can help with a donation. Bee-friendly plants for every season Get your bee saver kit. Bees need 3 things to thrive — food, shelter and water. Use this guide to discover which plants, trees and veg to grow to attract these important pollinators to your patch of the world. Different bees are active throughout the year, so you'll need flowering plants from spring to winter.
Cooperative Extension: Tree Fruits
Bees provide significant benefits to us, including pollination of our fruit and vegetable plants. Honeybees make honey that is a delicacy in any kitchen. Wisconsin has over species of native bees that also are responsible for pollination of many plants. Unlike honeybees, the majority of native bees do not live in colonies. Instead, most of them construct solitary nests below ground in burrows or above ground in cavities.
Planting for bees
See the Latest Publications. Browse All Publications. Download PDF. B ees are important insect pollinators for bountiful home vegetable gardens and backyard fruits. European honey bees and native bees, such as bumble bees, help ensure fruit set and higher yields. Learning about the process of pollination can help smart gardeners attract and safeguard these important insects. Pollination is the deposit of pollen grains from the anther male structure onto the pistil female structure of the same plant species Figure 1. Pollen can be transferred within an individual flower or between separate flowers.
They come in different sizes, too. Fruit trees such as apple, plum, pear and cherry produce prolific flowers as well. These floriferous trees.
Did you know
You may wonder why anyone would welcome bees into their outdoor living space. However, once you realize how valuable bees and other pollinators are and how much they need our help right now, you may reconsider inviting them into your yard. Planting Trees for pollinators that offer pollen and nectar is a simple but effective way to support the efforts of these hard-working and important creatures. Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the male part of a flower to the female part, thus fertilizing the flower and allowing seed and fruit to form.
Join TalkApple About Author feel free to mail us letsgrowapple gmail. Most apple varieties are self-incompatible and therefore require cross pollination with a suitable pollinator type to achieve good fruit set. If you look from a practical perspective, then all apple varieties should not be considered self-sufficient. Which means that they can not effectively pollinate themselves? Even the so-called varieties are also called fruitful, such as golden delicious, also need to have other types of trees around them to ensure continuous crop production. Apart from this, two strains of apples of the same variety are not as successful for pollination, as two of them are very similar in varieties.
This work investigates the bee pollination of fruit trees, especially apples and pears in the field.
Want Bees? Plant These!
The Western honey bee Apis mellifera plays a crucial role for United States agriculture because it provides pollination for a large number of crops. Morse and Calderone,Despite the importance of honey bees, the beekeeping industry has been in decline since two parasitic mites, varroa Varroa descructor and tracheal mites Acarapis woodi , invaded the United States in the s. Varroa mites have nearly wiped out the feral unmanaged honey bee population in the United States Kraus and Page, and managed honey bee colonies have been declining mainly due to more complicated management because of the mites. For example, in Michigan alone, the total number of honey producing colonies has decreased from the 95, in to 65, inThis is almost a third reduction of managed bee colonies during the last 16 years.
Bee visits plants for its food, nectar and pollen. This floral fidelity of bees is due to their preference for nectars having sugar contents and pollens with higher nutritive values. Besides getting food for the bees as a result of their visit pollinate a number of crops.