Runner beans not setting

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Jul 7, 2022.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    There are plenty of flowers but I have not seen any bees on them.

    There are plenty of bees on the flower beds, I got stung by one a few days ago so why are they ignoring my beans?

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  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Give them time, there always seems to be a period early on when the flowers dont set.
    I remember years ago my next door neighbour rushing out scaring off sparrows because he said they pulled the flowers off.
    But the crop always come good eventually.
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      Your beans are looking well advanced and very healthy and should be producing beans OK shortly. You don't need a lot of bees around to pollinate them as hoverflies do the job just as well and they seem to be around in abundance.

      Are those Painted Lady?
       
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      • john558

        john558 Total Gardener

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        I heard that spraying with water in the evening helps the flowers set. I do this when the weather is very hot.
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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          Silly me I forgot they are 'Tenderstar', a cross with French Beans so they are self fertile i.e. they don't need insects to pollinate them :doh:Looking back at previous years I've usually started picking them the third week of July. I wonder if the bees don't bother with this variety, I've never noticed insects on my French beans come to think of it.
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            I have heard that, many years ago, and do it but research says that there is no proof of its validity. No harm doing it anyway.
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              I seem to remember that there is one type of bee/wasp (not sure which) that can damage the flower as it gets the pollen by boring a hole in the bottom of the flower which can stop it from setting.

              I'm having problems with blackfly and may have to resort to washing up liquid. rubbing them off the plants is getting too difficult now that the flowers have started.
               
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              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                You can often find flowers especially long ones, salvias, beans, aquilegia etc with neat holes at the back of the flower where bees have accessed the nectar because their tongues are too short to reach the nectar from the front. The downside for the flower is that it doesn't get pollinated as the pollen is frequently at the front and the insect is supposed to brush against it as it reaches for the nectar.
                 
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                • Jiffy

                  Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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                  We got lots of beans and lots of flowers and hopefully in a few day we'll be munching
                  DSCF2946.JPG
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                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    @Jiffy Brilliant :thumbsup:

                    Although we are watering ours regularly they are nowhere near as advanced as yours. Regular watering can't compare to having rain, which we haven't had for months! Probably no more than an hour of light rain in three months.

                    The local farmer seems happy now as he has just started harvesting his fields.
                     
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                    • john558

                      john558 Total Gardener

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                      Mine are starting to come on now, I keep checking and removing Black Fly, oh and a gentle water mist in the evening.P1010204.JPGP1010205.JPG
                       
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                      • john558

                        john558 Total Gardener

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                        The leaves on my Runner Beans are quite large this season, some are so heavy that they are breaking the stalks. Over feeding ?
                         
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                        • JWK

                          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                          Maybe overfeeding John, can't say I have ever had that problem.
                           
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                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            Has it been windy John.
                            I seem to remember that the first spurt of growth often produces big leaves, the plants are at the vegetative stage of growth mostly.
                            I think it's often why the first flowers don't set.
                             
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                            • JWK

                              JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                              I need patience, I am sure we usually get inundated as the school holiday starts, we used to go away for a week and came home to find pods too ripe.
                               
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