Save the bees June 1 2012, 5:19am via nisekogreenfarm.com

When Strawberries start to flower it usually takes about a month till you can harvest the first fruits.

A good pollination is key for a well developed fruit, honeybees are key in this. Wind will do a bit of the work, but with bees stamping around on those stigma to collect pollen they do a much better job.

When  you eat a strawberry you can see all the seeds on the outside of the fruit. It is one of the only fruit that does this and actually it is not a fruit, but a swollen receptacle with it’s ovaries to attract attention for seed distribution.Either way it works and humans and animals love  strawberries.

On this photo (click to enlarge) you can see the development of the flower and  all stigma have been formed. The stamen and anther haven’t yet, so self-pollination can not yet take place. Sometimes flower male and female reproductive organs are produced at different times to prevent self-pollination, sometimes they self-pollinate before the flower even opens, like with some tomatoes.

Each stigma needs to get pollinated to produce a seed and swell up to produce a good shaped fruit. A task quite laborious. With the decline of the bee population it gets harder to achieve this. Neonicotinoid pesticides are getting blamed for this and these are the most widely used pesticides in Japan ( and in the world). They are ‘less’ harmful for mammals, that includes us, but more so for insects. Pretty handy to get rid of them, but if you need them for the production of your food you are getting your self in a lot of trouble.

Pollinating billions of flowers to produce fruit will create lots of jobs, which is a good thing, but unfortunately our multinational cooperate friends will charge you and me for this. So unless you don’t mind paying ¥5000 for a pack of strawberries in the future, do yourself a favour and go organic.

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