Indigenous Nursery News Blog

Carpenter Bee Buzz Pollinates at Random Harvest Plant Nursery

At Random Harvest Indigenous Plant Nursery there are almost as many different kinds of insect and bird pollinators as there are plants.

South African indigenous plants have developed very interesting pollination mechanisms, including buzz pollination. This is to make sure that they are counted amongst our country’s rich biodiversity.

Schlerochiton kirkii is one such plant.

Carpenter Bee Buzz Pollination at our Plant Nursery

The Carpenter Bee

The Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa caffra) is a relatively large, robust bee. It visits flowers for pollen and nectar and in return, pollinates some flowers extremely efficiently.

Here a female Carpenter Bee is engrossed in buzz pollination on Schlerochiton kirkiii. In this type of pollination, The Carpenter Bee grabs the tightly closed stamens in its front legs and buzzes by rapidly moving muscles in the body, including flight muscles. This causes the pollen to literally be shaken loose, and to fly off the flower and on to the bee’s body.

When the Carpenter Bee leaves the flower the stamens flop open indicating to any other passing Carpenter Bee that the pollen has been taken.

As the bee goes from flower to flower it transfers pollen off of its body onto a different flower. This ensures that the flower is not pollinated by its own pollen.

The Bumble Bee confusion

Many people confuse Carpenter Bees with Bumble Bees, but Bumble Bees do not occur in South Africa.

The yellow and black striped large bees that one sees are in fact the female Carpenter Bee.

Carpenter Bee Buzz Pollination at our Plant Nursery

Male Carpenter Bees are completely covered in yellow hairs, and can often be seen patrolling fixed areas around flowers, twigs and leaves of particular shrubs and trees.

Carpenter Bee Buzz Pollination at our Plant Nursery

Females burrow into dead wood and excavate a nest in which they lay their eggs in "chambers" that they have constructed. They feed their larvae on a mixture of pollen and nectar.

Random Harvest Indigenous Plant Nursery 

Open 7 days a week, the Random Harvest indigenous plant nursery offers about 800 species of plants in the retail and wholesale sections of the nursery. 

Whether it's trees, shrubs, flowering plants, bulbs, grasses, succulents or water plants you require, you are sure to find them here. 

For more information about our plant nursery and plant availability, please contact us.


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