Sunday, November 27, 2016

1000s of Little workers.

 Bees for pollinating the kiwifruit have been in the orchard for a week. Some days have been windy, one wet but 2 brilliant hot, hot days that bees just love. Above is just one of thousands of bees working it's way systematically  around a female flower, hopefully with male pollen already on it to pollinate this flower and hence set a kiwifruit.
 This is a close up of a hive. The bees crawl out the slit door at the bottom, holding on upside down for grip. They then turn right way up and move to a clear space to take off and fly .......we hope to a male first then female kiwifruit flower.
 Notice the pollen sacks already quite large with pollen on the bees leg.

 There are less flowers overall than last year but that is a seasonal thing. It may mean we have less fruit thinning to do. That would be good.
 As well as the 26 bee hives we have had 3 rounds of artificially applied male pollen. The male flowers are picked as they are just about to open, the pollen is milled from the flowers and stored. It is then blown onto female vines and flowers using a handheld leaf blower. It is like insurance to make sure as many flowers as possible get pollinated. 
 I have noticed some tiny fruit are already set.

 Thankyou Nancy for your helpful comment.


molly said...

What strikes me is how beautiful the kiwi flowers are!

Ali Honey said...

Yes and they have a very distinctive perfume that I would recognise anywhere.