Pollinator foraging activity on 'Sundrop' apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.) in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand was investigated to see if restricted pollen transfer reduced fruit production. Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) were the only significant floral visitors. Most bees collected pollen and therefore contacted the stigma. Pollen foragers worked flowers faster than nectar foragers (5.3 versus 2.7 flowers/min). Forager densities varied widely between days but under good weather conditions reached 9 bees/tree for up to 6 h a day. Neither nectar volume nor its composition appeared likely to reduce foraging activity. 'Sundrop' flowers held up to 20 mu l of nectar at an initial concentration of similar to 5% sugar. Data gathered were used to estimate forager numbers needed for cross pollination of 'Sundrop'. The calculations indicated that adequate cross pollination is feasible under Hawkes Bay conditions with hive densities of c. 5.0 hives/ha, within the range normally recommended for stonefruit crops.
|Journal||New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|