Botany Quiz: Tomatoes need bees to pollinate the flowers

There are a total of 492 votes:

(132 votes, 26%)
Red dot

(360 votes, 73%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I love my electric toothbrush for this purpose!

(Zone 1)

I just took a guess and said false even though I have seen many bees on my tomato plants. Just wish the bees could sting whatever bug is eating the fruit! ^_^

Texas City, TX

Commercialn growers use everything from Bumble bee colonies to shakers(table).Can be done with a electric tootbrush when the stamin /pistol is exposed!

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I usually shake mine now and then or when I think of it. Makes a difference, too.

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

Yes I give mine a shake now and then too..

Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

If they're caged, a thump of the cage is enough.

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

I shake mine every couple of days, and rearrange the branches if possible..


Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Eyes---What do you mean by rearranging the blossoms? Aren't you afraid that you will knock them off?

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

Branches, not I have been known to give them a good thump too..


Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

I don't shake mine and have zero trouble with pollination.

Havelock, Canada

I am going to have to shake my mater plants tomorrow. Who knew? Apparently several of you did. LOL

Elaine and Otis

I give mine nice gentle pats on the back...and talk to them, too.

(GayLynn) Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Never heard of shaking maters. Hey, if it helps, I'll shake.

Elgin, IL

Tomato hornworms morph into hawk moths ( also called sphinx moths, hummingbird moths ), and every year I see them in my tomatos, usually around dusk.

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

I started shaking when I started growing Brandywines :)

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

I opted for false only becaues of the many choices to apply pollen; but basically I guess it could be true, as that is the original way to pollinate!

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Well, another reason to handle my plants. :-) Guess I'll do some shaking, too. I figured it was false, that bees were only one of the ways to pollinate.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

My maters prefer high-fives to handshakes...


hahahaha you guys!!!
I just let a few go "wild" and they'll not only self-seed, but I like the taste of them alot more - they're also more naturalized & climatized!
I let 'em grow in a pot, so when it gets cool, I can move 'em indoors!!

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Oh--yeah. I rearrange the branches, too, eyes, when they grow outside their wooden cage my DH made for them. Have to get them when they are still bendable.


Here is a link to a great article on DavesGarden about the Hornworms and the moths:


Eden, Ontario, Canada

I just assumed that they wer polinated by bees. I grew up on a farm here in Ont. and have gardened all my life. who would have thought I'd learn something new after all these years! LOL . Well, I'm going to go out and give my plants a gentle shake now and then from now on.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm going to have to report you shakers to the SPCtoTomatoes.

Seriously, that is interesting. I too assumed they were pollinated by bees. Live and DG.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

my bees ignore the maters for sweeter flowers- i pinch a bud n just "kiss" the other blooms to set the fruit, tho sometimes we have to pinch the leaves off cept for several (or beat with a handtowel )to wake the plant up, n get the blooms to happening. Same for my Meyers Lemon.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Actually if you are trying to save pure seed, the last thing you want is insect pollination. :)

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

The question was do the tomatoes NEED bees for pollination, not whether bees could or would pollinate tomatoes. So, my answer is still "no."


Liverpool, United Kingdom

To make certain that tomato plants are properly pollinated, I transfer pollen from flower to flower with a small artist's paint brush. It takes time, but gives me the results I want!

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

i have never intentionally shaken my plants. usually, whenever i weter them while they are in the house i move them enough to satisfy their need to move.

Bad Axe, Mich., FL(Zone 5a)

If your maters are outside, you shouldn't need to shake them. Usually there is enough breeze to cause enough movement to distribute pollen if the bees and other pollinators don't do it for you. I only have 2 plants in an Earthbox, but they are loaded with maters and haven't shaken a single branch. LOL The wind does a good job of that.

Missoula, MT(Zone 6a)

Also, tomatoes usually won't set fruit til the night time temperature is at least 54 F. At least here in Missoula.

Woodbury, MN(Zone 4a)

Mine actually reseeded themselves this year from fruit I left. I was just thinking though, a few months of tomatoes is never enough, has anyone tried to grow them indoor over winter?

Bad Axe, Mich., FL(Zone 5a)

You would need grow lights to get tomatoes indoors in the winter. There just isn't enough sun for the plants to grow properly and for the fruit to ripen.

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

As is the case with corn, bees are superfluous.
(just by chance someone else saw the first X-Files film and wondered why the bees were significant...)

This message was edited Aug 10, 2008 9:19 PM

Jacksonville, TX

Outdoors bees make little difference.

In a greenhouse setting they are helpful.

Movement of the flower cluster by some other means is as good as a bee.

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