Match-maker for cucurbits? Right!


I hope someone will indulge me as I try to sort out my "fizzling zuchs".
Is the number of cucurbits planted important to pollination? As I understand it, cucurbits have male and female flowers. Their pollen is sticky, so wind borne pollination isn't going to happen. Pollination only takes place through the agency of bees. Right? Whether you have one plant or a hundred. Right? Or, is there some other player in the game that I'm not aware of yet? I just don't want to plant three zuchs if it's not necessary (and perhaps change the Earth's center of gravity and destroy civilization as I've come to enjoy it). I mean, logic is only as good as it's premise. Right?
Thanks for the seminal information about the zuch flowers. Now, most mornings, you can find me out in my garden playing match maker with the open flowers of my squash plants.
So, can anyone tell me off the top of their heads if the lack of bees (and there does seem to be a dearth of them) is going to be a similar problem for my cucumbers, pumpkins, and butternuts? Am I going to have to open a fertility clinic for cucurbits?
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William L. Rose wrote:

All Cucurbits are insect pollinated. Does not have be honeybees, but some type of pollinating insect. Squash bees, Bumblebees, carpenter bees and sevral other types can do the job. The more plants that you have in this family, the better the chances of attracting pollinators. All the squash will pollinate each other so the zukes, yellow crooknecks, pumpkins and butternuts will support each other.
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Including butterflies. I am seeing a greatly reduced number of bees, but an increase in butterflies, so maybe things will average out.
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Yes
see:
http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/book /
David
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Sure. If there aren't many bees you need to do the pollen swaps yourself otherwise all you'll end up growing will be vine. It is very fiddley work with the small cucumber flowers, but not much of a problem with the handful of flowers that grow on the bigger pumpkins.
Remember, provided you pick the zucchinis within a day or so of their flower opening, zucchinis don't need pollination. In fact, if you have a real proliferation of zucchinis you can even pick them *before* the flower opens, when the fruit is really tiny. The tastiest zucchinis are the dark green speckled ones, called Blackjack here though that might not be PC. The flowers are edible, too.
With your name, we'd expect you to be a dab hand working with flowers. -- John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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