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Conference Paper

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Proceedings of the Florida Lychee Growers Association

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A brief attempt to evaluate the importance of honey-bees as pollinators of lychee blossoms was made this spring by screening a lychee tree at the University Experimental Farm prior to bloom, and supplying an abundance of bees in the immediate vicinity. Various studies of floral biology and flowering cycle in the lychee have indicated that adequate supplies of pollen are available while the pistillate flowers are receptive (1). Likewise, as Chandler has pointed out (2), isolated bees of our common Brewster variety have produced good crops, indicating adequate self-pollination. Even so, it is generally recognized that cross-pollination of the lychee normally occurs, and that insects serve as pollinators. Thus, Liu (3) states "it is clear that cross-pollination from flower to flower is inevitable in the lychee plant," and further that "pollen may be viable for several days, and remain on the bodies of insects or elsewhere, to be transmitted to receptive stigmas as they later become available." Singh and Singh in their excellent monograph from India (4) state "Pollination is brought about by insects which visit the flower for honey." They list eleven species of insects found visiting the flowers, including honey-bees.

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