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 monocultures, that is, they are the only species produced in a field, or even in 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 is usually called male plants, those that contain the pollen and female plants, those that produce the fruits.
But for the fruit to form, pollination is necessary, that is, for the pollen of the male flower to reach the stigma of the female flower. This work is usually done by bees, among other pollinators, rewarded by the nectar of flowers.
Special conditions for 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 the opening of the flowers is also fundamental, as the flowers of the female plants are only receptive to pollen from the opening until the petals fall (one week). However, males produce germinable pollen only during the 2 or 3 days after their flowers open.
Pollen is carried from male to female flowers mainly by insects and wind, although this is negligible.
The problem is that bees cannot live near kiwis. They would starve because there are only flowers (and the associated nectar) for a short time each year. Hence the need to resort to domestic bees at a rate of 6 to 8 hives per hectare and currently, drone colonies are being used more frequently, created by companies specialized in this area.
Bees as slave workers in kiwi pollination
The companies in charge of this work will place the bees and their hives on the plantation at the beginning of flowering and will remove them when the last petals fall, to prevent them from getting used to looking for flowers of other species that are more attractive to them.
This practice is considered by vegans to be animal abuse. Kiwis are very difficult to grow naturally and, like many crops, are dependent on bees. Given their scarcity and the possibility of remaining in monocultures, they are transported over long distances in the back of trucks and many of them die on the way.
There is the possibility of dispensing with pollination by insects and performing this task manually. This practice would be more suitable for vegans who would consume fruit without abusing animals in between.
But how can a vegan consumer know whether bees or other insects were involved in the development of a fruit or vegetable? It is certainly complicated because this information does not reach the consumer; You must conduct a thorough investigation.