Tag Archives: pollination

My Pumpkins Are Male Chauvinists

The pandemic garden is developing nicely, and I am awash in zucchini and kale.  The green onions, early potatoes, and carrots have all been harvested.  The first tomatoes are starting to turn red, and the pole beans are snaking their way up the bamboo tents I constructed for them.  Since we expanded the garden this year I finally have the space to plant multiple varieties of winter squash and pumpkins.  The latest round of rain has caused the vines to grow rapidly, and the garden is full of beautiful yellow blossoms.  During this morning’s garden inspection I noticed that very few squash and pumpkins are actually forming on the vines.  Pollination isn’t the problem.  Over 150,000 honey bees are within a short walk of the garden.  Bees are so heavy on the blossoms that the vines have an audible buzz.  Upon closer inspection I realized the problem is that I have all male flowers. Continue reading

The Honey Bee, The Almond, And The Miracle of Modern Agriculture

As new beekeepers, we read a lot about bees.  I can’t stress enough to people considering beekeeping that you need to do your homework.  The homework isn’t difficult.  No calculus is involved, but it requires time and effort.  As we studied, I kept coming across references to almonds and California almond orchards.  I decided to investigate further, and what I found was astonishing.  Thus, this blog post was created so you could be astonished too. Continue reading