“We live at the mercy of bees and insects, who keep us alive by pollinating us”, remarked a dear teacher of mine. As time goes by, I am realizing the importance of his words. Bees are becoming scarce due to mechanization and environmental change, which is a cause for fear. Nature It is doing its work according to its own rules and maintaining the balance of the environment.
Bees and other insects maintain the balance of crops by pollinating various flowers around the world. Along with this, the crop is also being protected. One day we may see that crop production starts to decline, because there is not enough natural pollination. Sometimes weather changes also act to prevent pollination. If the temperature is not optimal, the anthers cannot burst and release the pollen grains, thus pollination is disrupted. If there is too much rain or too much wind, the flowers do not have enough pollen or are not in the right condition. In this case bees, beetles or other insects cannot function properly.
Pollination may not be familiar to some. In every advanced plant, as in every advanced animal, the union of the pollen grains of the male flower and the endosperm of the female flower results in the formation of a new seed. Fruits usually develop first and contain seeds. In most plants, the same flower contains stamens or anthers and pistils or pistils. Like tomato, eggplant, pepper, etc. It is assumed that they may not need the help of insects for pollination. They are called self-pollinated crops. But in reality it can be seen that even in their case sometimes the cooperation of insects is needed. Bees pollinate most crops. Other pollinators include bumble bees, butterflies, flies and, in particular, small birds (such as hummingbirds), bats in some species. Some crops can produce fruit without pollination in the absence of insects, such as beans, beans, and peas that do not require pollination.
Pollen contains pollen that looks like a powder, usually yellow and orange in color. There are also white, pink, gray, green, blue and purple colored pollens on different flowers. When it gets the right environment and maturity, the anther bursts and the pollen comes out. Some plants have stamens and pistils in separate flowers, such as gourds; Sweet pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini etc. have male and female flowers on the same plant. There is no chance of self-pollination. In that case, the help of insects will be needed. Insects carry the pollen on their bodies to the female flower and pollinate it. Bees or other insects pollinate acre after acre of mustard, vegetables and other crops in nature’s natural order. The flowers of rice, wheat, barley etc. are pollinated by wind, without needing bees or other insects.
The subject matter of my writing is my own experience in alternative pollination. Saying something about the problems I had with natural pollination. Happened several years ago. I realized the importance of pollination while gardening on the balcony. I have a garden above ten floors. I planted tomato, brinjal, pepper, neem and gourd plants in the tub. The tree is doing well. Flowering is well underway. The tomato, eggplant and pepper plants in the balcony garden are flowering but not bearing any fruit. All the flowers are falling. My idea was that tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are self pollinated plants. They may not need insects for pollination. Actually my idea didn’t work. The wind was good and I gave it an occasional shake to help pollination a bit. No insects climbed up, probably because of the altitude. There are many flowers; But not even one flower bore fruit. No natural pollination. A month passed but no tree bore fruit.
After natural pollination failed, I started pollinating tomato, brinjal and pepper flowers daily with small spikes. I started taking the pollen from the head of the tuli and applying it to the uterus. Pepper plants were easy to pollinate; Because pepper flowers have a lot of pollinators and brinjal plants have not suffered much. Pollination in tomatoes has not been easy; Because the pollen could not be seen. Within a few days after pollination, tomato, eggplant and pepper plants began to bear fruit. The fruits started growing slowly.
I planted 3 gourd seedlings. Only one gourd tree grew in the end. Seedlings of native gourd. Bengalis like to plant desi gourd seedlings here. A friend of mine brought seeds from the country and made seedlings. I also got seedlings from his generosity. Once the gourd tree started to sprout. I really want to have at least one gourd in my garden. Both female and male flowers have buds. There is only one female flower bud. One morning I saw the lady flower blooming. But not a single male flower bloomed. Male flowers are needed for pollination. I was upset. Because my plant has only one female flower and no chance of a gourd. Because the temperature is dropping. After that, even if the flower blooms, the plant will not survive until the gourd grows due to the cold.
Cousin’s house is one kilometer away. There is a gourd tree in his house. Male flowers of the gourd seemed to be found in his garden. He has long snake-like gourds in his house. Here in many people’s gardens, a few hands long and slender gourds are seen hanging like snakes. Looks a lot like a snake from a distance. I thought, let’s try it once. At seven in the morning I appeared at his house for flowers. My sister looked at me in surprise for a long time. Perhaps the trees drove me crazy.
I brought some male flowers in a polybag and pollinated them with the female gourd flowers in my balcony. Lao is getting bigger little by little. At last the pumpkin in my garden grew. Some genetic reshuffling may have occurred due to cross-pollination between the two varieties of gourds, which could be discerned in later generations by seeing different types of gourds. But from the outside it looks completely desi lao. Some small events sometimes bring a lot of joy. The slow growth of this little gourd brought me great joy.