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Crop Science Abstract -

Variability of Floral Characteristics Influences Honey Bee Visitation to Soybean Blossoms1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 15 No. 6, p. 767-771
    Received: Feb 20, 1975

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  1. E. H. Erickson2



Group O-III cultivars of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., screened for floral variability (e.g. flower size, color, abundance, cleistogamy, aroma, ncctar production, and blossom sequence) demonstrated a continuum between extreme limits for most of these factors. Cultivars potentially attractive to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were ranked from high to low, based on their rate of nectar secretion. The responses of late flowering under fluorescent light and temperature insensitivity at flowering (noncleistogamic) were found to be associated with higher production of nectar, which suggests possible methods of screening for potential bee attractiveness. The effect of weather in Wisconsin on the flowering and bee visitation for one soybean cultivar was studied in detail. Here, flowers failed to open and nectar secretion ceased at daily mean ambient temperatures below 21 C.

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