The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 86 No: 6
Evidence for a major role of honeybees (Apis mellifera) rather than wind during avocado (Persea americana Mill.) pollination
G. ISH-AM and E. LAHAV
The purpose of this study was to determine the relative importance of honeybee (Apis mellifera) activity and wind in the pollination of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees.
Data on the pollination rates of five cultivars of avocado, honeybee densities, ambient temperatures, and wind velocities were recorded in an orchard in Israel on 61 d over a period of 7 years.
The effect of wind velocity on avocado-flower pollen under laboratory conditions was also studied.
Rates of pollination showed highly positive correlations with honeybee density, whereas no correlations were observed with wind velocity.
Under laboratory conditions, no effect of wind velocities equivalent to those measured in the field was observed on avocado-flower pollen.
Our results agree with earlier work in which wind contributed only slightly to avocado yield.
Hence, we conclude that contrasting data which show the effectiveness of wind pollination in avocado are not relevant to most avocado-growing regions, including Israel and California.
It is, therefore, strongly recommended that avocado growers continue using honeybees for pollination.
ISHS members & other users
(PDF 209107 bytes)
Go back to previous page