Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mustafabey pear

Mustafabey pears are ripe.

Mustafabey is an unusual pear.  It is highly regarded in the near mid-East and the Balkan regions.  It has several other names as each region claims it for their own.  From the USDA Accession Area Query tool:

Klementinka (PI 392320).-A small, early ripening pear from Bulgaria. Local Bulgarian variety of unknown parentage, imported to U.S. from Kustendil, Bulgaria, in 1974 as PI 392320. One of the parents of Ubileen Gift. Possibly identical to Arganche from Macedonia and Mustafabey from Turkey. Fruit: small - 41g. Skin: greenish to yellow-green with red color on sunny side. Ripens July 5-12. Keeping 4-6 days. Flesh: soft, sweet, texture bad. Tree: vigorous, large, very productive - 200 to 250 kg per tree. Resistant to winter cold and spring frost.
I have one branch of Mustafabey.  It is on the left side of the photo.
Photo taken from the same location but with zoom.


Orchards are generally insect pollinated.  Honeybee populations survive in the upper mid-West by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, that is, the constant replenishment of hives by bees from outside sources.  Hive losses of 40%-to-70% annually are not uncommon.

Native pollinators can take up the slack but they cannot be concentrated the way honeybees can.

One strategy that makes native pollinators more effective is to move pollen sources closer to the target pollen receivers.  You cannot move them any closer than by grafting a branch of pollen source into each tree.

Then, instead of relying on the statistical improbability that a native bee will tickle a pollen source in the canopy of one tree and then fly across one or two barren, grassy lanes to spread pollen on the target, you are exploiting the bee's tendency to simply jet over to the next, closest flower.  The pollinator never needs to leave the canopy.

Key points
  • The pollen source must produce flowers every year
  • The pollen source must produce abundant pollen.  That usually means many flowers....most reliably found on smaller fruited types.
  • The pollen source must not be a reservoir for diseases.  Mustafabey has very clean foliage.
  • The bloom time must match up with the target varieties.
1987 data from Oregon, European pear cultivars, Julian date of full bloom.

1988 data from Oregon.  European pear cultivars, Julian date of full bloom.
The actual Julian dates were left off because that will vary depending on your location.  The key point is that Mustafabey's bloom (depicted by the photo of the pear) is near or slightly after peak bloom for most cultivars.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting concept. Hadn't thought about doing it that way, but it works!