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Pollination and pollinators of pumpkin and squash (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) grown for seed production in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon



Graduation date: 2001'Golden Delicious' winter squash (GDWS), Cucurbita maxima Duchesne,\ud provides significant amounts of pollen (24 mg) and nectar (236 μl), but with a low\ud reward of 14% nectar sugar. The quantity of nectar produced per GDWS flower\ud differed between sites and floral sex. The GDWS male flowers had 25% higher\ud sugar concentration than female flowers. There was no statistical difference in the\ud percent of nectar sugars per flower between sites, but the interaction between site\ud and floral sex was statistically significant for the amount of nectar and percent of\ud nectar sugars. Pollen production per flower differed significantly between sites\ud with the most productive site producing 27% more, and 45% more than the other\ud sites.\ud Pollination efficiency of honeybees and bumble bees was assessed with\ud field cages (1.8x1.8x1.8 m). No significant differences were found except for the\ud interaction between the bee treatment and year on number of fruit per cage. This\ud significant difference reflects the increase in fruit number produced by honey bees\ud in 1997.\ud The effect of distance from honey bee hives on fruit and seed quality was\ud tested, and found significant only for B- and C-seeds weight, which were both less\ud in the plots farthest from the nearest group of honey bee hives. Placement of honey\ud bee hives in fields of ≤120 ha appears not to be critical for adequate pollination of\ud GDWS. Other pollinators (excluding honey bees) were frequent visitors to the\ud squash flowers studied here - for example, Bombus spp., Megachilids, Halictids,\ud etc. These other pollinators, mostly bumble bees, accounted for 3.55% of all bee\ud visits.\ud Honey bees visited proportionately more female flowers in the morning,\ud and progressively switched to the more abundant male flowers in the afternoon.\ud This bias differed by site and year. Bumble bees visited proportionally slightly\ud more male GDWS flowers than did female flowers and did it in a similar rate\ud throughout the day. From 15 minute observations each hour of individual female\ud GDWS flower, we calculated that they received approximately 80 honey bee visits\ud per day

Year: 2000
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Provided by: ScholarsArchive@OSU

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