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If you have been following my views on Avocado flowers and their sex lives, you would know that the flowers have both male and female parts in the one flower. They act like an old married couple though and these two parts are not exposed to each other or at least not for long enough for much to happen. Now as we all know the birds and the bees (well at least the bees) have a part to play here, to allow these flower parts to "get it all together". Except even though I have a European honey bee hive in my yard and a host of native bees "in the bush", I never get any of these critters around my flowering Avos. All four of my Avos are flowering at the same time this year, (it's never happened before like this), leading me to expect hordes of flying pollinators to descend on the trees to do their crosspollinating thing, but no, not a bee to be seen!  In their absence I have detected these tiny ants (see the photo) doing their best to aid the pollination process. While they may be able to pollinate the one tree, I can't see them visiting all four trees for cross pollination servicing, can you? So my question is, WHY IS IT SO? Websites that I have visited have pictures of honey bees visiting flowers on Avos. One site recommends placing bee hives in the Avo orchard about a week prior to flowering times to get the bees "settled in"  My bees are well and truly settled in, perhaps there are better pollen and nectar sources around at the same time, but surely one two of "the girls" could make an effort!  

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We have puzzled over this subject for years.  What type of trees do you have Roger?  It is a matter of cross pollinating I think.

Between the A and the B, when flowering, one (A or B) starts the day as a female and hopefully the other (A or B) starts the day as a male,  The next day that one started the day as a female the day before, will start as a male  and the cross pollinator will be a female.  It all comes to both types connecting at the same time either in the morning session or the afternoon session. 

Avocados don't pollinate well when it is windy and I believe they can be insect pollinated but also pollinate with the fine pollen in the air which would travel around in a backyard.  Greater farms etc would need help of some sort.

There are some types that can self pollinate but can be greatly assisted by an opposite type.

Is my story any clearer Roger, I hope this does not upset anyone, all this pollinating talk.   You may be able to add your version as well.

Hi, Ian and Christa,

I have two dwarf Avos, a Pinkerton, and a Rincon in pots and placed so that they are intertwined. These are both type A as is my Hass which is in a wheelie bin. This was grown from seed and is looking very healthy, with a good covering of flowers. The Hass is situated away from the other trees.

My type B is a Sharwill also in a Wheelie bin. It is also flowering profusely and is supposed to be a good pollinator of the two dwarf trees. As this is the first year that it has flowered, so it should be a good test of it's pollinator capabilities, but unless there are flying pollinators to get to all the trees, I can't see how it can pollinate anything.

In our subtropics there is a crossover on  the A's when both are open during the day and the female flowers close and the male open. The B's crossover at night so usually need an A to cross with. But you are right bees should be visiting them. I would throw a couple of calendulas or some other flowers next to the avos to get the bees attention.

My dwarf Wurtz is flowering again after a couple of years and fruiting.  We have moved our Lamb Hass to a different location.

This site may explain better than I did -   

I was goinh from my memory, not a good idea. Now I remember at the STFC they said the A type flowers usually hang around long enough in our climate for them to get pollinated early arvo but the B type release pollen before the female flowers open so it is helpful for them to have an A nearby with male flowers at the same time in the arvo.

And people wonder why I don't grow avos!!!!? 

Hi Roger, I have the same problem. So I searched online and find this video This guy spread honey water onto the avo trees to attract the honeybee. I found a few more videos using the same method. I roughly calculate the concentration, which is about 20% honey. I haven’t tried that yet, but I will give a go next year.

Thanks Joe,

I will try this next year. It is a pity that we only get 1 flowering per year. I have four types, but they have all flowered already, so I can't try this until next years flowering in late winter. If any member has a tree that flowers later than mine they could try spraying their trees with honey and water, and let the rest of us know what the results were. Other than that, we will have to wait. 


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