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      How to pollinate a vanilla bean orchid
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      Nearly every vanilla bean produced and consumed in our world today is the result of hand pollination of vanilla bean orchids. The bee that kept this species of plant in existence for years is now feared to be extinct. The arduous process of vanilla bean cultivation is literally on human life support, making the vanilla bean the second most expensive spice in the world, just behind saffron. 
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      A vanilla orchid blooms just once, and when it blooms it must be pollinated within 6 hours, or the likelihood of successful pollination decreases. 
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      We visited one of our Hawaiian vanilla bean farmers in April 2022 during blooming season, and he was kind enough to give us a quick, 43 second tutorial on how to successfully pollinate vanilla orchids. For those of you interested in vanilla bean cultivation or simply fascinated by this amazing little bean, we think you will find this short video quite insightful. 
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      Diagram of a vanilla orchid
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