Pollinator Requirements and Flowering Patterns of Macadamia integrifolia – Publication

Abstract of a paper reporting work funded in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Timothy A. Heard
Department of Entomology, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia; present address: CSIRO Division of Entomology, Long Pocket Laboratories, PMB 3, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.
Aust. J. Bot., 1993, 41, 491-97

A study of insect pollination of macadamia, Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche (Proteaceae) was undertaken in southern Queensland. Both initial nut set and final nut set increased with increasing insect visitation. Pollination was not limiting yield at this site, however, as racemes exposed to 6 h of bee visitation per day had similar final nut set to racemes constantly exposed (10 h of bee visitation). Honey bees and Trigona spp. bees visited the racemes in approximately equal numbers at the site. Approximately 50 bee visits were made per day to the racemes exposed for 6 h. Individual flowers remained attractive to insects for approximately 3 days. Hence approximately 150 visits per raceme are required to ensure adequate pollination. The flowers on a raceme opened over a period of approximately 7 days with peak opening at around day 2. Flowers opened during the day, peaking in the early afternoon.