The 8th International Pollination Symposium was organised and hosted by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of West-Hungary, Mosonmagyaróvár, between 10-14 July 2000.
This was an honour to Hungary because it was a sign of recognition of the pollination research conducted in this country over the past 50 years.
This research was initiated with studies on wild bee pollinating lucerne when Z. Böjtös, a plant breeder, encouraged an entomologist, L. Móczár, in the mid-fifties, to study the specific structure, density and foraging behaviour of wild bees in lucerne fields. The research was continued by P. Benedek in the late sixties. Typical flight period patterns were discovered among wild bees that represented separate groups of species adapted to different sections of the seasonal successions of blooming flora. The relationship of wild bees to lucerne and other available pollen sources, as well as the effect of environmental conditions on the density and specific structure of wild bee populations in the lucerne fields, was studied and the long term impact of changing agriculture on wild bees pollinating lucerne was also recognised.
The pollinating wild bees of cultivated vetches and of red clover were also studied. In the early seventies, bee pollination studies were extended to other crops, including winter rape, sunflower, seed onion and some species fruits.
In the late seventies P. Benedek, J. Nyéki and M. Sotész established a fruit tree pollination research team that continues in existence. The research focused on the features affecting bee visitation, foraging behaviour and, consequently, the pollinating efficiency of honeybees on fruit tree cultivars. The role of bee pollination on self-fertile and self-sterile fruit varieties was carefully studied, as was the effect of a limited bee pollinating period on fruit set and yield of fruit tree species and cultivars. Research also improved the technology of supplementary bee pollination for fruit trees.
Another research team was established with Mrs. Zs. Orosz-Kovács in the late eighties. They showed a daily periodicity existed in nectar production in flowers of fruit tree species and cultivars and demonstrated a positive effect on bee visitation and consequently on pollinating efficiency of honeybees on them.
The fruit tree pollination research team, lead by P. Benedek, also made intensive studies into nectar production of fruit trees. They compared fruit tree species and cultivars among each other and examined the relationships among nectar production, intensity of bee visitation and foraging behaviour of honeybees.
Also, J. Farkas initiated intensive work to improve the controlled supplementary bee pollination of crops in the eighties. Recently this work has continued as one of his co-workers, Mrs. Z. Szalai, has been working on the application of pollen mixing devices for fruit tree pollination and the effect of pollen kitt to honeybee foraging activity on fruit trees.
The theme of 8th International Pollination Symposium at Mosonmagyaróvár was Pollination: integrator of crops and native plant systems. This attracted the interest of researchers from around the world who were involved in scientific and applied aspects of pollination ecology and the interactions between crop and native plant species and their pollinators.
The National Editorial Board of the International Journal of Horticultural Science (Budapest, Hungary) decided to devote a special issue of the journal to pollination research and related topics in horticultural science on the occasion of the Pollination Symposium in Hungary. All delegates to the International Symposium were given a special issue copy of the International Journal of Horticultural Science, Vol. 6., No.3. 2000, which published 25 papers on the latest research results on floral biology and insect pollination of horticultural crop plants as well as a complete bibliography of research papers published by Hungarian scientist on this topic.
The Symposium was attended by about 90 scientists from more than 30 countries. The scientific program contained about 90 scientific presentations (approx. 60 oral lectures and 30 posters). This offered a very good opportunity for the international participants to present and discuss their new research results in pollination ecology. The lectures were organised into sessions with invited keynote lectures as well as oral presentations for each session. A poster session was also organised. The themes of the oral sessions were:
Pollen, including advertisement, availability, stigma interactions, nutritional aspects
Nectar, including production, quality, preferences
Pollen flow, including hybrid crops, transgenic crops, wild plant conservation, gene flow, genetic markers
Pollinator diversity including non-Apis bees
Pollination in plant genetic resource conservation
Pollination in sustainable agroecosystems including conservation of and competition between pollinators
Managing wild bees for pollination
The topics covered the biological and ecological aspects of pollination of plants by insects with emphasis on insect pollination problems of cultivated crop plants, including traditional methods of insect pollination in sustainable agriculture as well as specific insect pollination problems of gene banks, hybrid seed production and GMO crop cultivars.
Both pollination of agricultural crop plants by honeybees and the management and introduction of wild bee pollinators of agricultural crops were discussed.
A general meeting of the ICPBR was also held during the Symposium and a special meeting was organised on the conservation of pollinating bees related to an international FAO project.
A one day official professional tour was organised during the symposium to acquaint the delegates with the research activities of the Bee Department at the Research Institute for Small Animal Husbandry (Gödöllő) and to view the Bee keeping Museum at the same site.
Many people contributed to the organisation of the Symposium whose support was indispensable to the Organising Committee. Their co-operations are thanked. This volume is the Proceedings of the Symposium. It contains most of the papers presented at the meeting. However, some papers were published in the above mentioned special issue of the International Journal of Horticultural Science and a few others in scientific periodicals prior to the Symposium. These papers, therefore, are not republished here, and should be consulted in the journals where they appeared originally.
All papers published in this volume have been peer-reviewed carefully by many colleagues. I should especially like to thank all of them for this work which was indispensable preparing this volume for publication in Acta Horticulturae.
The manuscripts of authors from non-English-speaking countries were reviewed for English grammar by Dr. Ken Richards, Vice-Chairman ICPBR, whose kind support is due to thank very much. The technical preparation was in the hands of Mrs. Katalin Némethné-Wurm (Hungary) and Ms. Carla Walker (Canada) whose hard work is greatly acknowledged.
Council member of ICPBR, Chairman of the Organising Committee
This volume of Acta Horticulturae is the Proceedings of the Eight International Pollination Symposium.
Invited and keynote speakers and selected authors of offered oral papers and posters had the opportunity to submit their manuscripts for publication in this volume of the series Acta Horticulturae.
Submitted manuscripts were reviewed by the Editors and amended according to the referee suggestions prior to acceptance.
The ISHS acknowledges the cooperation received from the Editors on reviewing the manuscripts which was a significant contribution to the overall quality of the publication.
The ISHS Board of Directors