Difficulty harvesting pollen

I’ve been trying to play bee between my pluots, but have found that the pollen does not want to come off the anthers. It seemed firmly attached no matter what I used to try to take some. Isn’t the whole idea that the pollen should come off very easily?


I have no experience with ‘pluots’, yet I know that some flowers the pollen needs to be dried before collecting. By removing the flower and letting the flower sit around until the pollen dries.

How are you trying to collect the pollen? You are opening closed flowers to get the pollen?

Pluots’ pollens are very small and very hard to see, except for Dapple Dandy; nothing compared to apricots or peaches. Also, sometimes the anthers stay closed for a couple of days after the blossoms open.

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But even if they are small, shouldn’t I be able to see yellow on the surface of whatever I brush against the anthers? The anthers are yellow. Does that indicate that they are open? If not, how do I determine that whether they are open or not?

Line the bottom of a box with black paper. Put flowering branches in a water vase, and close it up in the box. The pollen will have high contrast with the black paper. The box will prevent air currents from carrying the pollen away.

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I think the pollen ripens after the flower opens, but I am not sure how long. It probably varies.

You need to cut the pollen anthers off and put them in a jar and let them dry a week, they should open up. Then apply that to the flowers. You need to do it way ahead of when needed. After the pollen dries it darkens and can be seen usually all over the jar. They will spill out on their own. Shake it up to open sacs if you have to after drying. This is the only way I know for sure you get pollen. Once dried it can be frozen to use next year.

Thank you. Given what you describe, how do bees carry pollen between flowers without such a process? Why does the pollen dislodge so readily when they brush against it?

The bees are there every day during bloom season and a percentage of flowers will have “ripe” pollen, easily removed. If you can tap on some blossoms when viewing the blooms against a bright sky near the sun, you can see pollen drift around in the air if any is ripe, even in amounts too small to be noticeable on fingers or brushes.

So shouldn’t I be able to see some pollen (yellow staining) on a q-tip if I touch enough anthers? I’m not. There are blossoms of many different ages on the tree. It’s been blooming for at least three weeks. Surely some of them should give up some pollen to the q-tip in a visible way, no?

Perhaps the pollens of some pluot varieties are very pale yellow, that you don’t see them.

Yes, some pollen is very light when wet. On bees I have seen loads of pollen stuck to them, kinda funny!
I harvest the pollen because it seems to be there, then it’s gone, it’s not easy to be there at the right time.
When it’s ready to be used the anthers open and it’s soon gone. So at times, well most of the time, I don’t see it.

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Thanks! I think I managed to find just one anther with available pollen. I had assumed that if the anther was yellow, the pollen was there and ready, but using my magnifying glass I could see that the anthers were smooth except for just one. So I guess the color of the anther doesn’t really mean anything on its own; it’s the color combined with the texture?

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Some really good observations. I’m afraid I can’t see all that well anymore. The pollen darkens when it’s dry and you can see it better in the jar. I was talking about the pollen color not the anther. The color of the anther changing is interesting and I don’t know anything about it? I have mostly worked with rubus species pollen. I’m just getting interested in stone fruit. I’m interested in breeding, and have bred some brambles. Also some stone fruit, but I lost them all. A bit of a bad start.
What you need to do is increase pollination. I can tell you as your trees get older the bees will remember and you should see more every year. Call them in with flowers, google beneficial flowers for more info.