Kiwis aren’t the only foods that break this rule. Also almonds and avocados, among other fruits. And it is that they affect the most important pollinator: the bee.
Kiwis, like most commercially produced fruits, are usually grown in monoculture, meaning they are the only species produced in a field, or even an entire area or region. And this is a serious problem.
Kiwi plants are dioecious, meaning they have male and female flowers on separate plants. What are commonly called the male plants, those which contain the pollen and the female plants, those which produce the fruits.
But for the fruit to form, pollination is necessary, that is, the pollen of the male flower reaches the stigma of the female flower. This work is usually done by bees, among other pollinators, rewarded with flower nectar.
Special conditions for the kiwi fruit
For a male plant to be a good pollinator, in addition to producing pollen in quantity and quality, it must flower at the same time as the female plants to be pollinated.
The coincidence of blooming of flowers is also essential, because the flowers of female plants are receptive to pollen only from their blooming until the fall of the petals (one week). However, males only produce germinable pollen for 2-3 days after their flowers open.
Pollen is carried from male to female flowers mainly by insects and wind, although this is insignificant.
The problem is that bees cannot live near kiwis. They would starve as there are only flowers (and associated nectar) for a short period of time each year. Hence the need to use honeybees at a rate of 6 to 8 hives per hectare and currently, bumblebee colonies are increasingly used, raised by companies specializing in this field.
Bees as slaves of kiwifruit pollination
The companies in charge of this work will place the bees and their hives in the plantation at the beginning of flowering and remove them when the last petals fall, in order to prevent them from getting used to looking for flowers of other species more attractive to them. .
This practice is considered by vegans as animal abuse. Kiwis are very difficult to grow naturally and like many crops they depend on bees. Given their rarity and the possibility of permanence in monoculture fields, they are transported long distances in the back of trucks and many of them die along the way.
It is possible to do without insect pollination and perform this task manually. This practice would be more suitable for vegans who consume fruit without animal abuse in between.
But how can a vegan consumer know if bees or other insects have been involved in the development of a fruit or vegetable? Admittedly, it is complicated because this information does not reach the consumer; You should do a full investigation.