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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Mooresboro, NC, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    There are a few vineyards starting to pop up in my area, are these potential customers for pollination?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,186

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    Grapevines are pollinated by the wind/gravity. Don't need the bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    We've got a small vineyard on the place, and I have seen bees work the grape flowers. I very much doubt that the grapes are a significant nectar source.

    In reply to the previous post: I realize that hermaphroditic flowers have the ability to self pollinate by gravity, but I think that when cross-pollination between male and female plants is desired, insects have to do the work.
    Happiness comes from within

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,186

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    Since the original question is about a vineyards potential as a pollination client, I would doubt it as most commercial vineyards wind up dropping half or more of their fruit. I know I do. So overproduction is often more of a problem than underproduction. Not all grapevines are hermaphroditic - some varieties of muscadines for example - the wind takes care of them. The vineyard is full of airborne pollin at fruit set time of the year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Corryton, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    Vineyards and bees go great together... well, sort of... by that I mean vineyards exist to the extent that they do mainly because of wines and spirits, and honey is also a great ingredient to make spirits (mead) from.

    But the bees need a nectar flow crop to make honey for mead making.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Prairie Co, Ark
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    Table grapes are sized primarily by pruning, thinning, or, as in the case of Thompson Seedless, by a combination of that and gibarellic acid--which i probably mispelled.

    Wine grapes are not grown for size, at least that is what they say, so additional genetic material is not a goal.

    As a former grape grower i doubt if either the bees or the beekeeper can make a living off grape vineyards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    I kept 10 Warre hives at 3 different wineries this season here in Oregon's wine country and they did quite poorly. I chose small, organic wineries with as many cover crops and other nectar sources as possible, yet it seems clear that there just isn't enough diversity in most wine areas compared to suburban and urban areas where my hives exploded.

    I had at least 12 wineries asking me to place the hives on their property -- obviously not for the pollination of their grapes -- because they wanted to benefit the other flowers in their area as well as benefit the honey bees that they know are struggling.

    Matt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    West Richland, Washignton USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Do honeybees pollinate grape vines?

    I have a friend who manages several vineyards. Bees will not pollinate grapes. He did say the certain types of grapes will produce nector that will attract bees. The greatest draw to bees are the supplenntal plants in the vineyard.

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