The contribution of insect pollinators in agriculture and horticulture is considerable. The presence of these insects has a direct impact on the yield of many crops.
Thus, apricots, almonds, cherries, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, kiwis, melons, peaches, watermelons, pears, peppers, apples, plums, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds are produced through pollination carried out by bees and some other insects. Some scientists believe that more than a third of the fruits and vegetables that we eat are produced thanks to the work of insect pollinators.
Many of the farmers rent the hives that they set up near their fields in order to obtain good harvests.
Many experiments on pollination have been conducted in Canada and elsewhere in the world. In the context of these studies, it was covered with flowers of nets, the meshes are very fine and thus preventing access to the bees and placed the hive near. It was found that the plants that were receiving the visit of the bees produce more fruit of better quality, because their eggs were all or almost all fertilized. The plants from which the flowers were covered with nets were shrivelled fruit, because the seeds were not quite ripe.
Here are a few tips for attracting the pollinating insects in your garden and increase your harvest of fruits and vegetables.
1. Plant nectar-secreting flowers
If you are growing edible plants in your garden or on your terrace, it is practically indispensable to the accompany of plants whose flowers produce nectar – sugar water which feed on many insects. These flowers will attract a variety of pollinating insects, which will increase the quantity and quality of vegetables and fruit products.
The best way to attract insect pollinators in your yard is to create a bed or a garden consisting of plants whose flowers produce nectar and pollen in abundance. The more your garden
will include plant species variety, the more you will increase your chances to see many pollinating insects access.
Although several species of flowering plants produce nectar and pollen that provide food for bees and bumblebees are the plants of the asteraceae such as yarrow, cosmos, echinacea, the rudbeckie and the marigold, that are most valued by them. The plant family lamiacea, such as hyssop officinalis, in the mint, the wild, marjoram, and sage also attract many pollinating insects. On the other hand, the plants being part of the family of the umbelliferae, such as dill, coriander and fennel, for example, are very much appreciated by the hoverflies.
Hoverflies are excellent pollinating insects that look like bees. They, however, have a single pair of wings,do not sting and fly like helicopters.
In addition, some scientific studies have shown that the native flowers are not necessarily more popular than flowers from Europe or Asia. When the flowers of a plant exogenous produce a nectar more abundant and of better quality than that of the flowers native to North America, the insect pollinators prefer foraging first.
In conclusion, the plants with double flowers tend to produce less nectar – or not at all in some cases, as they are often sterile – that the varieties have single flowers.
2. Create a hotel for insects
Hotel for insects
It is very interesting to make and install a hotel for the insects in your garden. It is, in fact, a wooden structure resembling a small house or a library with a roof in which are arranged a variety of materials, such as logs, pieces of wood or bamboo, bark, bricks, and pots where the insects can breed, rest or even spend the cold season at the shelter.
It is desirable to incorporate in to your hotel a wide range of materials in order to attract various species of insects. First, you can use pieces of hollow stalks of certain plants, such as bamboo or reed. This will attract solitary bees, such as the mégachile.
You can also install bricks, whose apertures are filled with mud which, when dry, will allow some species of pollinating insects of digging tunnels. Simple logs with holes of diameter (3 mm to 14 mm) can also provide shelter to various critters. The holes should not pierce the log in part.
To attract bumble bees, there is nothing like a small wooden box, empty, pierced by a hole of 1 cm diameter and with a lath, used for the landing and take-off.
Make sure you finally have your hotel for insects on a tutor or on a wall exposed to the sun, facing south or west, and protected from prevailing winds by shrubs or evergreens.
Here are the steps of manufacture of a hotel for insects :
- Install a board that will serve as the background to your hotel and attach the sides and roof.
- Integrate a broad range of materials in order to attract various species of insects. First, you can use pieces of hollow stalks of certain plants, such as bamboo or reed.
- Also install a few small logs with holes of diameter (3 mm to 14 mm) which can also be used to provide shelter to various critters.
- You can install bricks in the holes filled with straw and clay to attract bees masons.
- In closing, it is recommended to install your hotel for insects against a guardian or a wall exposed to the sun and protected from prevailing winds.
3. Sponsor a hive
A few companies specialized in urban beekeeping are the rental of hives. This allows on the one hand to combat the decline of honey bees while educating the public on the benefits of these insects, their mode of life and the techniques of maintenance of an apiary.
If you want to become a beekeeper in urban, it is very important that you buy a hive with an experienced beekeeper who specializes in urban beekeeping in order to prevent various problems, including the spin-offs, and especially to avoid that there is too much of beehives arranged in a same place.
If urban beekeeping interests you, it is important to gain knowledge on the basic biology of the bee and on the management of a colony. The best way to familiarize yourself with the bees is certainly to follow a training on beekeeping and join a organization strategy.
Pollination, how does it work ?
The sunflower perennial figure among the nectar sources the most popular of pollinating insects.
Because bees, bumblebees, butterflies and hoverflies feed mainly on nectar and pollen, they depend directly on the flowers. In a reciprocal fashion, several flowering plants also need insects for their reproduction. Indeed, to reproduce and perpetuate themselves, plants must ensure that their items breeding male – the pollen grains – and their female parts – the egg – meet. This meeting sometimes proves to be difficult when a large distance separates two plants of the same species.
To facilitate their fertilization, the flowers produce thousands, or even tens of thousands of pollen grains which move at the meeting of the ova, which are usually static. A bee gathers a few flowers can be covered in minutes of thousands of pollen grains. Even if the pollen can be transported by wind, water or by animals such as birds, insects remain the pollinators are the most effective.