Sunn hemp, Crotalaria juncea L., is a warm-season legume that can be planted in rotation to cash crops to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soils, for weed growth prevention, and to suppress nematode populations. Sunn hemp flowers also provide nectar and pollen for pollinators and enhance biological control by furnishing habitat for natural enemies. Experiments were conducted in Northern and North Central Florida to evaluate bee populations that visited flowers within mixed plots of sunn hemp and sorghum-sudangrass and plots of two sunn hemp germplasm lines. Collections of bees that visited illage Sunn flowers indicated that Xylocopa virginica (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Xylocopa micans Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile sculpturalis Smith (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), Megachile mendica (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), and Megachile georgica Cresson (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) were present in large numbers in May through July and then again in October. Although Tillage Sunn seeds planted in March flowered in May, percent bloom and number of bee visits were low. Compared with short day sunn hemp cultivars, 'AU Golden' plants produced flowers early in the season to provide food and habitat for pollinators and have the potential to produce an abundant seed crop in Northern and North Central Florida.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science