Do Bees Pollinate Oak Trees?
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Do Bees Pollinate Oak Trees?

    I have many white, black, chestnut, and red oak trees my property. I restarted (after a 30 year lapse) beekeeping last year after the spring bloom (July 2, 2007). This spring I had 18 hives and I have noticed a large increase in holly berries, pears and other plants that I know bees pollinate.

    However, I also have a huge increase in the acorn fall this year. They literally cover the ground. Do bees pollinate oak trees?

    If they do, would it be accurate to say that beekeepers contribute to the food supply of all the wild animals, such as wild turkey, that eat acorns. If so, this another reason to keep bees.
    From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Charles Koch

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Oaks are, I believe, wind pollinated. I guess you could argue that all those little wings beating the air could have increased pollination!!!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #3
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    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
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    Default

    This guy thinks so. Read Paragraph 7 or 8.

    http://www.mountaintimes.com/mtweekl...beekeeper.php3

    It is really the wind that does it. So Raven gets the Star.
    http://teachers.eusd.k12.ca.us/jcurr...tivity%201.htm
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the link Eaglerock. I believe that the guy is correct. In fact, here is a quote from a Ohio State publication on pollination:

    Insect pollinated flowers are usually showy - having evolved from the need to attract insect pollinators. However, many wind pollinated flowers such as maple, oak, hickory, corn, and ragweed are visited by bees collecting pollen. http://ohioline.osu.edu/b559/559_2.html
    It seems to me that beekeeping contributes substantially to a wide variety of wildlife food sources. Everything around my property seems to be producing many more berries, nuts, fruit, etc. since I restarted keeping bees. I saw very few honeybees prior to this year.

    If beekeeping helps feed wildlife, that fact alone is sufficient reason for the time and expense that I put into beekeeping.
    From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Charles Koch

  6. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    I would say purely from observational evidence yes. Which is to say at fairly specific time of the year (the timing does vary based upon oak tree variety... of which there are many more than most folks might suspect) they work the small insignicant looking bloom so hard that their collective (they are communist, don't you know?) hum is difficult to ignore.

    I have also heard beekeepers just to the west of me suggest that the pinoak in that area produces an extranectaral secretion (think I got the term right) which makes for an awful tasting honey.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    Sounds like you're seeing a "mast year".

    http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive...ihealth-03.asp

  8. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    Houston, Texas
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    I've had the same experience as tecumseh. The hum is very noticeable.

  9. #8
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    May 2007
    Location
    clayton cal.
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    Default

    In cali we have native california oaks and tan oaks -bees sometimes bring in honeydew that is excreted from aphids and other scale insects -the taste is awful-and the sugars are to complex to let the bees winter on -other than that bees dont work oaks- RDY-B

  10. #9
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    Perkasie, PA
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    You are certainly seeing a mast year, but I would definitely not group all oaks together. Mast years only occur in groups of closely related species. A live oak is a different thing from a white oak. Pollination is not important to most oaks, seed dispersal and predation is the point of concern.

  11. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
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    So, RDY-B, the hum I hear in my grove of Live Oaks when they bloom is really just the bees working the bugs? Interesting...

    While on the subject of chaparral flora, have you ever noticed if bees pay any attention to red shank blooms? It appeared to me they couldn't have cared less, in spite of the fact that our entire hill was blooming awhile back.

  12. #11
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    May 2007
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    clayton cal.
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    walking bird -I dont know about red shank -but if it is like chamise and it blooms in june it should yield something-I google mapped thousand oaks -got any pockets of SAGE in all that scrub-brush -what is the main flow in your neck of the woods RDY-B

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
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    2,473

    Default Quercus sp

    Are a great source of pollen eagerly worked

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