Beans (Phaseolus) have been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Bean plants bear complete flowers (both male and female reproductive parts are present in the same flower). Thus, they are able to self-pollinate. However, many studies have shown that yields can be up to 10 times greater when pollinating insects are present, especially large-bodied bees such as bumble bees and carpenter bees.
And how about those crispy crunchy onions on top of your green bean casserole? Or as an important savory addition to your stuffing?
Onions, along with other members of the Allium family, rely on pollinators for seed production.
Cultivated for over 5,000 years, the humble onion is the center of a billion-dollar industry. It ranks second only to potatoes as the most popular vegetable in the world.
When onions flower, they produce tall white umbels with multiple florets. Each tiny bloom is a perfect flower, containing both male and female reproductive parts. However, these mature at different times, so assistance is needed to carry pollen from plant to plant. Enter honey bees and other native bees and flies. Let’s bee thankful!
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