Assessing the Pollination of Your Watermelon
On this website, you will find links to tools that will help you estimate the percentage pollination you are receiving in your watermelon field and the relative contribution of the different types of bees to the pollination of your crop.
Pollination depends on many factors including the number and proximity of honey bee hives, and the amount of surrounding natural habitat that can support wild bee populations. Watermelon flowers need at least 1400 pollen grains deposited on them to set a commercial-quality fruit. Both honey bees and wild bees deposit pollen and contribute to the pollination of your watermelon crop.
Types of bees differ in how many pollen grains they deposit and their abundance varies between farms. In some cases, wild bees provide all of the needed pollination which reduces the need to augment pollination with managed honey bee hives. At other sites, low pollination levels indicate a need to add more hives or manage the farm to increase populations of wild bees for pollination.
This pollination assessment combines measures of the percent pollination provided by each bee type with their frequency of flower visits at your farm to estimate overall pollination. Instructions, data sheets, and guides to the most important pollinators of watermelon in the East and West are available here:
Click here to download a PDF of the Watermelon Monitoring Instructions.
Click here to download a PDF of the Watermelon Monitoring Data Sheet: Eastern U.S.A.
Click here to download a PDF of the Guide to Bees Visiting Watermelon in the East.
Click here to download a PDF of the Watermelon Monitoring Data Sheet: Western U.S.A.
Click here to download a PDF of the Guide to Bees Visiting Watermelon in the West.