SoCal Sweetheart Lychee update

phase0001(z10 CA)April 12, 2010

sweetheart, first crop was last year. This year the tree is larger and it has more bloom spikes

this spike was the earliest to open, with many males now.

I mentioned earlier that I had not seen bees around yet and was ready to hand-pollinate. just when I was going to do it I saw this fella and some of his friends. They did such a good job last year so I will leave the job to them.

My little Kaimana, as you can see, it is quite small:

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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Wow....cool pictures...and especially nice close up of the bee. What kind of camera are you using. The bloom spike you show is nicely divided between male and female.....lots of fruit to come. Great job!

Harry

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:14AM
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north_tree_man

I agree, that is a damn good closeup, and you'll be eating tons of lychees with them helping you out.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:24AM
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mango_kush

harry, you can get really good resolution from cheaper cameras using the MACRO function (on most cameras the symbol on display is a flower when it is on)

what this does is focus on the target in the picture where the crosshairs are and it focuses on it for a second (requires a steady hand) anything beyond the focus point or background will be blury like in the pic.

i took this with a 5 megapixel $75 camera

play around with it a little, it will make your pictures look profeesional.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:41AM
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simon_grow

Hey Phase, your tree looks so dense now. All the branches have really filled in. With all the bees helping out, you should get a really nice crop. I noticed that the bee is directly over a receptive female.

Your Kaimana looks great too. In several years, you are going to have to open up your own fruit stand to sell your crop, or, you can just call me over and we can pig out!

My Sweetheart had so few female flowers but then yesterday, I found about 5 clusters of 5 females, thats still only about 25 females I was able to hand pollinate. I don't have very many flowers left on my panicles but the remaining flowers look mainly female. Hopefully I'll have some males left to pollinate them with otherwise you may get a phone call from me :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:11PM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

harry and NTM, thanks for the compliments on the macro. I used my Canon 5D Mark II SLR + 100mm L IS macro lens. It's another hobby that I had acquired.

mango_kush, agree that inexpensive cameras can do a nice job on macro too.

simon, yes the tree is much denser than last year. I only get one nice flush in a year - last year was right before harvest. Hope I get a nice one this year too. call me any time if you need male flowers from me. but, that's conditioned on you posting some pics of your tree first. :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:17PM
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mango_kush

WOW thats a nice camera. i would be happy if my camera just had a little better optical zoom

here are some pics of a green orchid bee my friend Eric took from his blog, he uses a Kodak EasyShare M853 Zoom


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:46PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Gorgeous pictures of a schomburgkia orchid blooms....and the green fly/wasps are pretty darn cool too. Thanks for the camera tips. I am a "point and shoot" kind of photographer.......buttons and knobs send me reeling.

Harry

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:30PM
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simon_grow

Hey Phase, I'll post some pics shortly, I roughly counted about 21 bloom spikes on my tree, more than I originally thought. I'm so nervous and hope that my tree is actually a Sweetheart and not a Brewster. I will look around for a nice Kaimana unless another promising variety pops up. If you see any good rare cultivars around the nurseries, please call me and let me know.

Those Bees are super awesome. Do you know if they have those bees in CA? Harry, I'm with you, I like my simple Sony Cybershot. The lenses and all those buttons on the nicer cameras scare me.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:44PM
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mango_kush

Euglossa viridissima - Green Orchid Bee

Green Orchid Bee over Passiflora - Butterfly World, Florida

Euglossa viridissima. Neotropical orchid bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) have been reported only twice from the United States of America; once near Brownsville, Texas and more recently near Silverbell, Arizona. In each case, a single male Eulaema polychroma Mocsáry 1899 had strayed north of the border from breeding populations in northern Mexico.

During the summer of 2003, however, several male Euglossa viridissima Friese 1899 were trapped around Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by USDA employees in the fruit fly monitoring program and sent to the Florida State Collection of Arthropods for identification. To date, more than 50 males and several females have been reported. Neither the exact location of the introduction nor the current distribution in Florida is known. However, observations point to an accidental introduction around Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, Broward County--likely as a nest inside a wooden object (shipping pallet, bamboo furniture etc.)--followed by a southward spread to Dade County in 2004.

*Taken from Florida Entomologist

Here is a link that might be useful: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEOTROPICAL ORCHID BEE EUGLOSSA VIRIDISSIMA (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE) IN FLORIDA

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:51PM
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mango_kush

simon post some good pics of your lychees leaves, we should be able to determine if its a brewster or sweetheart.

also im positive your cybershot has a macro feature, its not difficult to use just toggle it on when the little flower is showing and take steady pictures with your subject in the crosshairs

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:56PM
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red_sea_me

wow Phase,
beautiful photos and tree.

Let me know if you find another kaimana lychee tree around, I'd drive down for that (or fresh lychees :) )

good luck,
-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 5:59PM
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simon_grow

Mango Kush, thanks for the info on the bees. I posted some pics of my tree in an older thread, I wonder if anyone would be able to tell if its a Sweetheart or another variety. I'll bump the thread. I did take some new pics of my tree in bloom but my home computer is super slow so I'm so lazy to post pics, I'll do it soon.

red sea me, Ong Nursery does still have some Kaimana trees left. Its in Linda Vista.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:32PM
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red_sea_me

thanks Simon,
I need to make a very expensive trip to Ong's, they have a few trees I want.

-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:55PM
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north_tree_man

I could have sworn there is a nursery or two in Hawaii that will send trees to the continental US. If they do, then you'll definitely be able to get Kaimana.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:42AM
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mango_kush

Frankies in Hawaii.

be prepared to pay a grip for s/h.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:56AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Phase great looking lychee trees, the small one is really cute.

Great pictures everyone! Love the close ups!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:24PM
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