|Pollinators at PI|
The following species of insect pollinators are utilized at the NCRPIS for controlled pollinations of germplasm within field and greenhouse cages:
Honey bees Apis millifera L. Osmia bees
Osmia lignaria (Blue orchard bee)
Osmia cornifrons (Hornfaced bee)
Bumblebees Bombus impatiens Flies Musca domestica L. (Houseflies)
Calliphora sp. (Blue bottle flies)
Alfalfa leafcutter bees Megachile rotundata
Plant accessions are periodically grown in the field and greenhouse in order to obtain seed to distribute to requestors. Pollination of these accessions must be controlled in order to preserve the genetic integrity of each individual line. Although some germplasm such as corn and cultivated sunflowers can be increased with hand pollinations, much of the germplasm held at NCRPIS benefits from insect pollination. A cage system has been developed to contain desired insect pollinators and to prevent cross-pollination with other accessions of the same plant species, as well as to exclude pest insects.
For more information on controlled pollination at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station or for free plans of the Bee Nucleus (illustration shown here) contact Steve Hanlin at: Steve.Hanlin@ars.usda.gov.
For more information on pollination cages used at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (two are illustrated below) contact Larry Lockhart at: firstname.lastname@example.org.