Vicia faba – Broad Bean

Botanical Family: Fabaceae

Bloom Time July – October

Pollen Characteristics

Dispersal Unit Monad

Aperture Number 3

Aperture Type Compound

Ornamentation Granulate/Psilate

Tectum Eutectate

Size (um) 44

Shape Round

Pollen Color Light Green, Green, Olive

Honey Bee Resources

Pollen Source • • •

Nectar Source •

Fava beans are a winter legume crop. Faba beans conserve the soil nitrogen and assets in breaking disease and weed cycles, and are therefore of great interest to farmers. The flowering of Faba beans is prolific, but only 10-20% of flowers actually produce pods. The presence of honey bees is said to accelerate the rate of set of bean pods. Studies have also observed that Faba plants with access to bees set more pods on the lower nodes and ripen earlier with significantly more seeds per pod. The use of the plant by honey bees has the potential to increase the yield by 19-52%. However, Faba beans provide very little nectar to honey bees, but do collect a reasonable quantity of pollen from the plants.

Sources:

Somerville, Doug. (2002). Honeybees in Faba Bean Pollination. NSW Agriculture

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