The viability and compatibility of pollen on insects visiting apple blossom.
The viability of fruit pollen carried on the body hairs of insects collected in apple orchards was usually similar to that of pollen from freshly dehisced anthers. To test the value of different insects as carriers of compatible pollen, captured insects were brushed over the stigmas of hitherto unopened flowers, which were then enclosed in bags. Fruit-set and ovule development were assessed. Differences in the pollination effected with the same species, but from different orchards, suggested that orchard layout could influence the value of some insects as cross-pollinators. Female Andrena haemorrhoa and A. jacobi gave considerably better pollination than other insects, including honeybees. Tests using bumble bees indicated that their value, compared with honeybees, may have been over-emphasized.D.A. Kendall