Passionfruit

Passionfruit is nutritious and delicious. It grows as a creeper and spreads by way of numerous strong tendrils. Demand for passionfruit has largely been driven by the fruit juice market with increasing numbers of farmers growing passionfruit in Kenya.

Passionfruit flowers are unique and incredibly beautiful. They are also complex, with anthers arranged above a ‘ring’ and nectaries having lids on them. It takes a hefty pollinator to lift the lid to the nectary and the most efficient pollinators for the task are large carpenter bees (mainly Xylocopa spp.).

To set fruit, passionfruits are 100% dependent on pollinators like carpenter bees and without them there would be no passionfruits for us to eat or to make juice. It is unfortunate that farmers often mistake the large carpenter bees for beetles, or pests, and kill them.

Carpenter bees like to nest in wood and are attracted to hedgerows with a variety of wildflowers.

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Passionfruit produced from the work of bees by D. J. Martins
Passionfruit produced from the work of bees by D. J. Martins

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