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Thread: Which is a more effective pollinator?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Which is a more effective pollinator?

    The critters or us?

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    The critters or us?

    That one is easy -- the critters. Just in terms of sheer biomass, consider of the tens of billions of insects alone (not to mention mammals and birds) involved at the moment to some capacity in pollination -- everything from wasps to beetles and flies, and the very experience of doing that job over the span of geological time. Currently, there is an absolutely disgusting gingko tree a short walk from my place, and, as luck would have it, the idiotic city planners planted the wrong gender as an ornamental. The female trees produce a fruit and stench which closely mimics either excrement or vomit (or a lovely potpourri of both) and whose pollinator is either a beetle or fly.

    Leave it to the critters to find something so absolutely nasty to pollinate -- and to perpetuate it as a species since the time of the dinosaurs . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    And they do it without intention while I butcher a flower with a toothpick and paintbrush, only to see a few seeds in a B. liniflora pod...

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    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    I think we do it more organized, but the bugs definately win.
    growlist

    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I think bees are much more efficient than flies, but flies beat us. Not always by much, since I can get more fruit on one of my pawpaws by hand pollinating than the flies ever manage. But that's only in the lower part of the tree, where I can reach. My other pawpaw is always loaded with fruit and I wonder if it's self-fruitful, since the two trees are right next to each other.

    By the way, whoever ordered the gingkos decided to save some money by buying unsexed seedling trees. I doubt a planner did it. It's very difficult to tell them apart until the females start fruiting, which is 20+ years later. By that time, who ever got congratulated for saving the town a few bucks on the tree order has retired. A number of places have planted only males of some other dioecious tree (I forget which one) and there was some controversy maybe ten years ago after some people said the pollen contributed to local asthma problems. The reason for planting only males is to avoid the fruit, whether it's stinky like gingkos (I think the smell is vomit) or just piles up under foot.
    Bruce in CT

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I think I'll toss a couple rotting pieces of fruit in a tray on the porch and see what happens.

    How can they possibly get to more plant parts more effectively than us?

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    D_muscipula's Avatar
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    I tried to pollinate my first sarracenia flower, which happened to be a oreophila. I used the faq on this forum on pollinating a sarra flower. But until I saw another diagram (about a week ago long after the bloom) I could not find the stigma. I recall rubbing pollen on one or two of the stigma not knowing if that was it or not. I just kinda smeared pollen all over the flower. I sure hope I get some seed though I was planning on doing a small giveaway.
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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    I think I'll toss a couple rotting pieces of fruit in a tray on the porch and see what happens.

    How can they possibly get to more plant parts more effectively than us?
    Volume . . .

    Consider, for example, what would happen to many expensive food crops if bees are dying off in the numbers some suspect. Beekeepers often earn their keep pollinating whole orchards with their hives . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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