From the Fresno Bee:
California orange growers plan to begin harvesting a new variety of seedless mandarin orange this month that they think will appeal to consumers and lower their expenses.
The most popular varieties of mandarins, such as Satsuma, are self-pollinating and don't need help from bees to produce fruit. But, their flowers still attract bees carrying pollen from other citrus varieties, and contact with that results in seeds in the fruit. To prevent this, growers net the trees to try to hold off the bees.
They won't have to do this with the new Tango mandarin. The trees are sterile, so even if bees pollinate their flowers, seeds are unlikely to develop.
"It's probably the best piece of fruit that's come along for years for citrus growers," said Ted Batkin, president of the California Citrus Research Board, which supported the research.