Extrafloral Nectaries

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beeno 

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Let gardeners be aware! I was weeding and I became aware of bees crawling inside the clumps of new growth of Forget-me-nots. First I thought they may be after water, but the foliage was dry and they were not on the soil. Since I am replanting some of my self-seeded Forget-me-nots in different positions I was interested to know if this was a one off or something I should take note of to avoid an ouch moment. Turns out that the bees were collecting nectar from the plants extrafloral nectaries. Bees do nothing invariably, who said that? If someone has a list of plants with extrafloral nectaries which bees avail themselves of pls post it. Many thanks
 

beeno 

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I cannot find Myosotis arvensis on this list? Is it me or is it as they say not an up to date list??
 

Nige.Coll 

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Alliaria petiolata, Garlic Mustard
Centaurea sp. Garden Knapweed
Fraxinus excelsior, Ash
Paeonia sp., Peony
Prunus armeniaca, Apricot
Prunus avium, Wild Cherry
Prunus persica, Nectarine
Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken
Vibernum opulus, Guelder Rose
Vicia sativa, Common Vetch
Vicia sepium, Bush Vetch
Vicia faba, Broad Bean
 

Murox 

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Well its good to learn something everyday ~ I never knew that bracken was a potential source as well. bee-smillie
 

Repwoc 

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How do the plants benefit from extra-floral nectaries? There must be a benefit to the plant, but I can't see what it might be. Unless it's like a fisherman throwing ground bait into a river to attract fish into the vicinity of his baited hook.
 

Nige.Coll 

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How do the plants benefit from extra-floral nectaries? There must be a benefit to the plant, but I can't see what it might be. Unless it's like a fisherman throwing ground bait into a river to attract fish into the vicinity of his baited hook.
It is thought the ants attracted to the nectaries also managed the aphids but no one is sure.
 

Monbees 

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Alliaria petiolata, Garlic Mustard
Centaurea sp. Garden Knapweed
Fraxinus excelsior, Ash
Paeonia sp., Peony
Prunus armeniaca, Apricot
Prunus avium, Wild Cherry
Prunus persica, Nectarine
Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken
Vibernum opulus, Guelder Rose
Vicia sativa, Common Vetch
Vicia sepium, Bush Vetch
Vicia faba, Broad Bean
What do the green dots signify? Do these extrafloral nectaries produce the same nectar as real nectaries, but just less of it, or is it inferior stuff?
 

Nige.Coll 

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PlantLasius nigerMyrmica rubraMyrmica ruginodis

Missed that off the top. sry
 

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there is a list somewhere.
You mean that when I look out across some green hillside desert I could be looking at bee food? ... without flowers?
Does anyone know if there's been research in trying to calculate how much nectar is produced?
 

Nige.Coll 

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You mean that when I look out across some green hillside desert I could be looking at bee food? ... without flowers?
Does anyone know if there's been research in trying to calculate how much nectar is produced?
I don't know of any research trying to calculate a direct return from Extra floral nectaries but spending 5 minutes looking on google there seems a lot of research into insect interaction with them and a lot more plants with them than I thought. A lot are tropical plants though.

Sugar content of secretions from the EFN of ferns can vary from 10% to 50% depending on weather and area. Well within the range a honeybee would be interested in.

A large proportion of field bean honey is supposed to come from the EFN of the plants and not directly from the flowers.
"Early in the flowering period the majority of honeybees collected pollen, whereas later in the season they chiefly collected nectar from the extrafloral nectaries or from holes bitten in the calyx and corolla tube by B. terrestris (negative visits)."

It is certainly an interesting topic for further investigation.
 

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