Cotton Pollination

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Cotton Plant Pollination

Some cotton plants are self-fertile and self-pollinating, while others need pollinators. Theoretically, the average self-pollinating cotton plant does not need bees in order to pollinate and produce fiber or seeds. However, it has been estimated that the visits of bees to all cotton plants increase final fiber production by at least 10% in weight, while the quantity of seed production also increases. Each cotton plant can only be pollinated on average for just one day, the day that the flower is open. Consequently, placing 1 healthy beehive per 1 hectare of cotton crops (1 hectare = 10.000 m2 = 2,47 acres) during the exact period of flowering (summer) has been found to be beneficial in some cases. However, in many areas, placing on purpose beehives inside the cotton field is not necessary, as honeybees are naturally attracted to the cotton plant, and can travel from miles away in order to forage and collect its pollen.

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