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pollination services

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Below is an extract from a pollination research paper prepared by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).  To download the document, simply click on the image on the left of this screen.

Raspberries and cultivated blackberries are an aggregate fruit which means the flowers consist of a number of separate pistals, each of which must be pollinated for the formation of each druplet.  Raspberry and blackberry cultivars range from completely self-fruitful to completely self-unfruitful with most erect blackberries being fruitful and prostrate growing cultivars often requiring cross-pollination.  However, it has been found that even in self-fruitful cultivars, providing insect pollination greatly enhances the yield and fruit quality of crops (Chagnon et al. 1991; DAF 2005; Langridge and Goodman 1985; McGregor 1976). 

Nectar is secreted in large amounts from blackberries and raspberry flowers and both nectars have a high sugar content that attracts an abundance of pollinating insects, especially the honey bee (McGregor 1976).  Numerous studies have shown increases in yield and fruit quality when bees are brought into a berry crop during flowering.  Chagnon et al. (1991) found the number of druplets and berry weight of raspberries on flowers openly pollinated by honey bees were both significantly higher than those from the bagged control.  There were also strong positive correlations between the number of honey bee flower visits and druplet numbers, thus honey bee visits were also strongly correlated to average berry weight (1991).

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