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Pollen Collection by Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

A. D. Synge
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Nov., 1947), pp. 122-138
DOI: 10.2307/1492
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1492
Page Count: 17
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Pollen Collection by Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
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Abstract

1. The pollen brought in by colonies of bees at Rothamsted during 1945 and 1946 has been collected daily by means of pollen traps and analysed into its constituent pollen species. Approximately 100 plants were found to be used for pollen collection. Legumes (54%), rosaceous trees and shrubs (15%), and forest trees (11%) were found to yield about 80% of the total pollen for 1946. The seasonal occurrence of different pollens has also been analysed. 2. The floral mechanism making pollen available to the bee has been investigated for red and white clover, Vicia faba, Papaver rhoeas, Epilobium angustifolium, Ranunculus, Brassica alba and Crepis, and the connexion between the time of day at which pollen from these plants is available and the time of its collection by bees demonstrated. 3. A correlation has been found between the number of loads of red clover pollen gathered by bees and the daily maximum temperature, and this has been shown to be due mainly to the increased number of red clover flowers opening at higher temperatures. 4. Large differences in the amounts of pollen gathered from different plant species were found between two neighbouring colonies in the same apiary. 5. A preference for white clover, rather than red clover, Brassica, Onobrychis or Papaver pollen was shown by three colonies, offered a choice of pollens within the hive.

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