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Pollinator Ratings in Soybean Varieties

By Laura Lindsey and Chia Lin 

Soybean plants are self-pollinating and do not require insects for pollination. However, soybean fields can provide important floral resources for pollinators, and there is some evidence of pollination by bees improving soybean yield.

In 2022, we screened 128 soybean varieties entered in the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials for nectar production and attractiveness of soybean flowers to bees. Bee activities were observed in all soybean varieties, but nectar production and bee visitation rate were highly variable across varieties (Figure 1). Bee visitation was primarily driven by floral nectar volume and not by flower color or nectar sugar concentration.

Nectar production and bee visitation rate of 128 soybean varieties

Figure 1. Nectar production and bee visitation rate of 128 soybean varieties evaluated at the Union County location of the 2022 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials.

Source : osu.edu

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