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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I've planted Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark soybeans, both untreated and treated, to test their attractiveness as forage for Honeybees.

I've treated a group of each type of soybean to see if I could 'artificially' increase their attractiveness to Honeybees.

While it's an early planting, it will give me time to assess the treatment and see if a new planting is warranted.

I've already run some tests with treated soybean seeds, and I've had one promising result.
 

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What did you treat them with to improve attractiveness? I'm racking my brain for a seed treament that could do that.

Also, I realize you're in the City, but isn't it really early for beans? I'm north of Albany and I'm a month away from those temps.

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
enjambres:

I'm glad you asked.

After reading about the discovery of Sweet 9, a nectar transporter protein in the flower of the soybean, I decided to see if I could make polyploid soybeans. The idea being, more copies of Sweet 9, etc. , would mean more nectar.

Colchicine has already been tried on soybeans over 50 years ago with poor results, so I used a different chemical that can make polyploid cells by a different mechanism.

I settled on camphor which can cause DNA endoreduplication (sometimes called endonuclear polyploidization or endonuclear mitosis).

I simply dipped soybean seeds in camphor spirits, allowed them to dry, and then planted them.

I've already done one preliminary test that was encouraging.

Yes, it is early to plant soybeans.

However, the beans I'm planting have four maturity groups.

Hark is group I, Corsoy is group II, Wayne is group III, and Clark is group IV.

I understand that soybeans are short day plants, but I wanted to get them in slightly early for some practical reasons.

It will give me time to order, and replant, new soybeans if I like the results.
 

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Biggest danger to planting this early will be frost (I am assuming these are planted outside). Corn can take a good nipping but it will wipe out dicots. You are correct soybeans flower in response to day length so the maturity group indicates what day length will trigger flowering (not all are "short day"), unlike other crops that flower after so many heat units/days. This will be modified somewhat based on temperatures also. I am guessing that you are in a group II or III maturity zone.

"Planting a specific variety farther north than its adapted maturity range will
extend the period of vegetative growth, delay flowering and delay
maturity due to the extended summer daylength and cooler temperatures.
Likewise, planting a variety farther south than its adapted range will
shorten the vegetative growth period, cause earlier flowering and result
in an earlier maturity due to shorter summer daylength and warmer
temperatures."

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/rowcrops/a1174/a1174.pdf

Please keep us posted. I've tried to encourage some of my soybean breeder coleagues to work on increasing nectar / bee attractiveness but the market for such a trait is limited. There is some interest from the groups working on hybrid soybean production.
 

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>Today, I've planted Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark soybeans, both untreated and treated, to test their attractiveness as forage for Honeybees.

Where do you find a field to plant soybeans in NYC? Central Park?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
>Today, I've planted Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark soybeans, both untreated and treated, to test their attractiveness as forage for Honeybees.
Where do you find a field to plant soybeans in NYC? Central Park?
The cultivars came from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection.

They'll send 50 seeds each. If you consider that the seeds don't have a 100% germination rate, a 3' x 3' x 2' planter on the rooftop garden has more than enough space to hold them all if I plant them in rows of 3 across-2" apart.

These seeds are pre-GMO soybeans.

They're pretty much similar to soybeans an organic gardener might plant.

If I wanted to obtain enough seeds to cover a large area, I'd have to contract that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Will these seed trials be reviewed and published? How will global warming change the results?
I chose these cultivars because they were already reviewed in the scientific literature (a long time ago) as being attractive to Honeybees.

As for Global warming, I'm one step ahead of that. Why do you think I'm planting cultivars from maturity groups I, II, III, and IV? :)

By the way, I'm the first one to use Camphor on soybeans to obtain polyploid plants.

In fact, I can't find any citation where camphor was used in this manner on a plant.

As I've said, I've obtained encouraging results. By encouraging, I mean vigorous growth, auxillary branching from the cotyledon and unfoliate leaves by V3.

However, I'm doing it all in one large planter, using multiple cultivars, to confirm that I'm obtaining polyploid soybeans.
 

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>Today, I've planted Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark soybeans, both untreated and treated, to test their attractiveness as forage for Honeybees.

Where do you find a field to plant soybeans in NYC? Central Park?
Just what I wondered. Where did you plant and how big a space?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just what I wondered. Where did you plant and how big a space?
I already answered that.

It's a 3' by 3' planter. A large one,

On the rooftop garden.

I did some tests in an environmental chamber (indoors) over the past month.

Today, I transferred the putative polyploid soybean plant to a light rack (indoors).

I also have a small greenhouse on the roof as well. I even have drip, fog, mist, and spray irrigation capabilities.

There's no reason to mention that I have an ongoing relationship with a group that has a large organic farm in upstate New York.

Mark, I'm not resource poor in that regard.

Right now, I'm testing out cultivars from a germplasm repository, to see if they are, in fact, attractive to Honeybees (make that MY Honeybees).

It's not that big a deal. Unless, one of the cultivars is a hit with the 'girls'.

What may be a big deal is the use of camphor to make polyploid plants.

That isn't in the literature.
 

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Yes, I saw that later, after I replied to Michael's Post. It will be interesting to see if that plot is enough to attract the bee's attention.

Isn't champhor something folks used to use as a poltice applied to the chest of a person w/ bronchitis or whooping cough?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I saw that later, after I replied to Michael's Post. It will be interesting to see if that plot is enough to attract the bee's attention. Isn't champhor something folks used to use as a poltice applied to the chest of a person w/ bronchitis or whooping cough?
I bought the camphor spirits at a local pharmacy, so yes.

While it's a common ingredient in many over the counter products, one should still use caution when using it as camphor spirits.

For example, I dipped the seeds in camphor spirits under a chemical hood. Any fumes are pulled up by the fan and blown outside.

Just so we're clear, I'm using camphor to make polyploid soybeans specifically to see if I can increase their attractiveness to Honeybees.

I think that the polyploid soybeans might make more nectar and/or have a higher sugar content in the nectar produced.

Especially in the cultivars chosen.
 

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Maybe WLC can publish his results with the 3-D printer that he used to be the first person to produce a beekeeping item via a 3-D printer. I'm sure that using a 3-D printer to publish results of a study would be another 'first' and a real feather in WLC's cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe WLC can publish his results with the 3-D printer that he used to be the first person to produce a beekeeping item via a 3-D printer. I'm sure that using a 3-D printer to publish results of a study would be another 'first' and a real feather in WLC's cap.
Let's see, Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark are being tested by me based on the work of others in the scientific literature.

That's not a first, I'm just seeing if the results reported are reproducible.

It also looks like I've been able to produce DNA endoreduplication in a soybean using camphor.

That has to be confirmed as of yet. It will also have to be reproducible by others.

However, it's a lot bigger than simply 3D printing a beekeeing item.

There are 100s of millions of acres of soybean in production worldwide.

Yet, they're still trying to break the 100 bushel per acre mark.

Who knows, maybe this could be of use to soybean seed producers?

So, Rader, what breakthroughs have you been working on lately? :)
 

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So, Rader, what breakthroughs have you been working on lately? :)
Funny you should ask. :lpf:

I have recently been hired:thumbsup: by the Smiley Union at Beesource to act as their 'PR person'. They certainly appreciate your [indirect] contributions towards keeping smileys gainfully employed.

:bus :banana:

P.S. Mark, my earlier post was serious.:rolleyes: Smileys were not appropriate there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Funny you should ask. :D
I have recently been hired :thumbsup: by the Smiley Union at Beesource to act a their 'PR person'. They certainly appreciate your [indirect] contributions towards keeping smileys gainfully employed.
:bus :banana:
So you're saying you're unemployed? :rolleyes:

You need to get out more.

I'd tell you to get hold of some soybeans and camphor spirits for your own experiments, but you would have to be sure that they're not protected intellectual property.

Wayne, Corsoy, Clark, and Hark are so old, someone said his granddad used to plant them. No intellectual property worries there.
 
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