Bees and corn

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by KenK, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    Have had trouble getting a decent ear of corn the last few years and I've blamed it on the lack of bees. Well, this year a wild hive has either started up nearby or a neighbor has put in some hives. There is that good "low roar" of honeybees working the corn tassles that I haven't heard in several years.

    We finally got some rain and the garden is taking off. The fence is 4' for reference, I bet if you stretched the tallest stalks of the Hickory King corn out on the ground it would be 12'.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Corn is wind pollinated, not pollinated by bees. That pollen falls from the tassels to the silks. You can hand pollinate if you wish by collecting some of the pollen and shaking it on the silks. The bees might help by shaking the tassels and knocking the pollen loose, but a little breeze will do you more good.
     
  3. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    Well, dang it.
    Maybe the wind will blow some then.
    Still glad to see the bees.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You have other stuff there. I can't tell what, but yes, it is always good to see the bees.
     
  5. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    Quote:Green beans, butter beans, two kinds of cream peas, yellow squash,cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers, hubbard squash and sweet potatoes.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The bees are required for the squash and cucumbers. Something has to haul the pollen around for them. The beans, peas, tomatoes, and peppers do not really need the bees, just the wind, but bees do help a lot. They shake the flower and shake the pollen loose so it falls inside the flower and self-pollinates. They really don't carry that much pollen from one flower to another, but they really help. In greenhouses, they often use bumblebees for these things since they don't have wind and the bees buzzing in the flowers shakes th pollen loose.

    I know, a lot of useless information, but I think it is fun. Enjoy that garden.
     
  7. NanaKat

    NanaKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    You have a lovely garden and I agree about the wind pollination of corn.
    The fullness of each ear depends on how well pollinated the silks are. I hand pollinate each morning by sliding my hand down a tassel and the picking a few grains of pollen and sprinkling it on the new silks. Each thin strand of silk is a kernal on the ear of corn....many silks need much pollen.
     
  8. maclady

    maclady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Lost in Space
    Wow, nice garden. My corn was flattened last night by a thunderstorm. anyone know if there is a way to save it? This is the first year I have seen any bees around my garden. Last year I didn't get anything due to no pollinators. This year I have fat bumblebees working overtime. My kid swatted at one and I told him to get out of the garden and leave them alone. I need them around if he wants to eat. I'm hoping they allow me to get a few pumpkins off the vines I have growing and I know they have done a bang up job on the watermelon plants cause I have a ton of melons starting. Keeping my fingers crossed that the bee population picks up for everyone cause without them we all are gonna be hurtin. [​IMG]
     
  9. NanaKat

    NanaKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:My corn fell over in a storm when it was about 3 feet tall. I straightened each plant in the rows and firmed the soil around the roots with my foot. The corn plants survived and are holding ears right now.

    Did you know you can pollinate the pumpkins yourself with a soft paintbrush or a makeup brush? I find a male flower and pick up the pollen and then carry it to a female flower and lightly dust the pollen on the stamens.

    A mis-shapen melon, cucumber or pumpkin is one that has not been completely pollinated. ...also won't be as sweet.
     

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