A PRELIMINARY APPRECIATION OF AGRICULTURAL AND BEEKEEPING VALUE OF A RED CLOVER POPULATION WITH A SHORTENED FLOWER TUBE
In 1963, a mutant with an uncoupled flower tube was found in a seed field of red clover. Since then, the mutant was used to obtain (by crossing or selection) a genotype which made nectar easily available to the honeybee. Thus, it appears the genotype took 36 years to obtain. This opinion is supported by a preliminary comparison with Nike, recently considered the best Polish cultivar. The genotype with the short corolla tube did not differ significantly from the standard cultivar Nike with a normal corolla tube when such important features as plant height, green crop and abundance of nectar secretion of individual flowers were considered. However, the genotype revealed more abundant flowering by 20 %, a shorter corolla tube by 25%, a higher sugar efficiency in nectar by 40% (collected from a unit area), more foraging flowers by 1200% (honeybees) and 30% (bumblebees), and a higher seed crop by more than 30% compared to Nike. In addition, differences in crop production may be higher with regard to the shorter corolla tube population cultivated on larger fields because of lack of insects (bumblebee) pollinating the longer tubed flower populations.
Jablonski, B. (2001). A PRELIMINARY APPRECIATION OF AGRICULTURAL AND BEEKEEPING VALUE OF A RED CLOVER POPULATION WITH A SHORTENED FLOWER TUBE. Acta Hortic. 561, 215-217
red clover, short flower tube, honeybee foraging, seed setting, crop