Corn Pollination – How To Hand Pollinate Corn
The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of pollinators: bumblebees and honeybees. Bumblebee is a type of bee which mainly uses its legs to move around.
They are small insects with long antennae and tiny wings. They have been known to fly up to 5 miles away from their hive. Honeybees are larger than bumblebees but they don’t use their legs very much. They have large mandibles and long tongues. Their wingspan is about 3 inches (7 cm). There are many different kinds of honeybees. Some species of honeybee can only sting once while others can sting multiple times. Both types of bees prefer flowers with nectar, pollen or both. Honeybees are usually found near flowers where they feed on nectar. However, some species of honeybee can also be found in fields and gardens.
Honeybees are attracted to the smell of flower nectar. If you want to attract honeybees to your garden then you need to place flowers like sunflowers, dandelions or even wildflowers near your house so that bees will visit them regularly.
The bees will then move on to other flowers. As your garden grows and more flowers grow the bees will find them first and then move on from there.
Once the bumblebees or honeybees have visited all the nearby flowers they will be looking for food elsewhere. That’s when they’ll find your fruit trees, vegetables or whatever you grow in your garden.
Putting a jar of honey near the flowers is also a good way to attract more bees.
How is corn pollinated?
One of the main reasons for corn being a staple food all around the world is its easy ability to be grown and harvested.
But did you know that it wasn’t always that easy?
About 9,000 years ago Native Americans began selecting corn for several different traits including bigger kernels, easier growth and better taste. While this was happening they were also unknowingly selecting corn that was easier to grow and harvest.
But how does corn reproduce and is it easy to grow and harvest?
The pollen of a corn plant must be transferred to the female parts of another corn plant in order for that corn plant to produce corn. This process is known as pollination. In order for this to happen, the stamens of one plant must be very carefully hand pollinated with a paint brush (or similar tool) and transferred to the silk of another plant.
Once this has been done the corn will be fertilized and will produce corn. However, if you are growing your corn in a controlled environment then you will need to artificially pollinate it.
How often do you hand pollinate corn?
In order to have a successful crop of corn you will need to hand pollinate it at least 3 times. Each time you do this the process is very simple. You will need to make sure the area you are working in is well lit and you will need a paintbrush (or similar tool) which is fine enough to transfer the pollen.
To begin with, you will take the tassel of the plant (the male part of the plant that produces the pollen) and brush it gently over the silk of the ear (the female part of the plant that will produce ears). Then you will take the ear of the plant (the female part of the plant that produces ears) and gently brush the paintbrush with the tassel over it.
Once this process is done twice your corn should be ready for harvesting. If you do this a third time then your corn will not produce any corn cobs.
It is not uncommon for farmers to do this three times in order to have a successful harvest of corn.
What is the difference between sweet corn and field corn?
The two main types of corn are sweet corn and field corn. While field corn is used mainly for feeding farm animals, sweet corn is used all around the world as a food source for both humans and animals.
Sweet corn is often eaten raw or cooked and is found in supermarkets across the world. There are several different types of sweet corn that have different tastes and colors.
What is a sweet corn called?
Some of the most common types of sweet corn that you are likely to find in your supermarket include:
This is one of the most popular types of sweet corn due to the fact it can be eaten on the cob and doesn’t need to be prepared in any way. It has a pale yellow color with a creamy texture.
This type of sweet corn has a slightly yellowish color and can be eaten in the same way as yellow corn. It doesn’t have as much of a creamy texture but some people find it has a more pleasant taste.
Also known as boiling sweet or table sweet corn, this type of sweet corn is an old-fashioned variety that isn’t eaten on the cob and needs to be prepared before eating. It has a pale yellow color with white kernels and is very sweet when eaten.
This type of sweet corn has been genetically modified so that it doesn’t develop a stalk and ear. It is often canned or imported from China and can be eaten either cooked or raw in salads.
It has a light yellow color and a crunchy texture.
Can you explain about the history of sweet corn?
Sweet corn was first cultivated by American Indians who grew it in the long summer days. The kernels were eaten both raw and cooked and was an important food source for many tribes. Iroquois people would grow the corn along with beans which would provide the necessary amino acids that the other couldn’t.
When European settlers arrived in North America they adopted the Native American crop of corn and began to grow it themselves.
Sources & references used in this article:
Synchronous pollination within and between ears improves kernel set in maize by J Cárcova, M Uribelarrea, L Borrás, ME Otegui… – Crop …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
Pollination between maize and teosinte: an important determinant of gene flow in Mexico by BM Baltazar, J de Jesus Sanchez-Gonzalez… – Theoretical and Applied …, 2005 – Springer
Maize kernel set at low water potential: II. Sensitivity to reduced assimilates at pollination by JR Schussler, ME Westgate – Crop Science, 1991 – Wiley Online Library
Ear temperature and pollination timing effects on maize kernel set by J Cárcova, ME Otegui – Crop Science, 2001 – Wiley Online Library
Water deficit affects receptivity of maize silks by P Bassetti, ME Westgate – Crop Science, 1993 – Wiley Online Library
Pollination timing effects on kernel set and silk receptivity in four maize hybrids by SR Anderson, MJ Lauer, JB Schoper… – Crop Science, 2004 – Wiley Online Library