- Author: Ben Faber
There are all kinds of pollinators in an avocado orchard, not just honeybees. In fact, there is a whole range of native bees that also pollinate the trees. There are nearly 1,600 native bee species in California, and over 30 have been identified in avocado orchards in Ventura County alone .
Another pollinator group is comprised of the Diptera order – flies. This order includes hoverflies and houseflies. Flies can be better at cross-pollinating avocado than honeybees because they move randomly through an orchard between different cultivars, visiting male and female flowers. The effectiveness of flies as pollinators varies between species, but there can often be more than 20 types in an orchard. This means it is likely that some good pollinators will be present, and that pollination can occur whenever the female flowers are open.
In the aforementioned Ventura avocado study, hoverflies are the most common flower visitor.