Given this year’s crazy weather, I am really lucky to still have these pluot blosoom. Now problem I have is the insect pollinator. Only thing available is the fly Is fly a reasonable insect pollinator or it simply here to transmit fungal disease?
You would have to observe the fly for a couple of minutes to see if it thoroughly intrudes on all parts of the flower and goes from blossom to blossom like a bee does.
I’d be amazed if it only settled in one bloom and that was it. Looks like it is foraging to me and I assume if it is getting nectar and moving from flower to flower- with those tiny hairs it is also moving pollen. Just guessing, but I’ve watched syrphid flies and other flies in motion many times. They tend to be very useful pollinators. Why would it have to intrude on all parts of the flower- just needs to touch anther and stigma, which both protrude.
They were moving flower to flower, also stop at some leaves looking for nectar (the petiole of leaves?)
But the fly body is very smooth unlike bee, I can not see any pollen collect on their body.
Here’s a related question - how long is pollen on pollinators viable. If the pollinating variety blooms out a week before the intended variety, would pollination still happen?
I’m not sure, but I use year old pollen all the time. I do freeze it. I let it dry a week or so first.
I am sure flies do their part in pollination. In my area Cornus Mas flowers at time when there are hardly any bees and you can see flies on them quite often.
Flies are known to be able pollinators, so apparently their bodies pick up enough.
Flies do the job. Flies and beetles are the only things that pollinate pawpaw flowers since bees aren’t attracted to them.
I can’t be to picky about what pollinates my early blooming pears. A few flies, few small sweat bees, and a few red wasp. This is the first time I haven’t hand pollinated so I am counting on them to get the job done.
I hope the red wasp is helping in our orchards. I sure have a lot of them.
Red wasp help by eating a lot of other bugs