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The Behaviour of Bees Visiting Runner Beans (Phaseolus multiflorus)
J. B. Free
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 5, No. 3 (Dec., 1968), pp. 631-638
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2401637
Page Count: 8
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1. Bombus agrorum foragers entered the mouths of runner-bean flowers and collected nectar only or nectar and pollen: some kept constant to one or other occupation. 2. Most B. lucorum and B. terrestris foragers obtained nectar through holes they bit in the bases of the corolla tubes. 3. Most honeybees collected nectar either by entering the flowers, or by robbing nectar through holes bitten by B. lucorum and B. terrestris; very few honeybees collected pollen. The number of honeybees robbing the flowers depended on the number of B. lucorum and B. terrestris present. Nectar-gathering honeybees readily changed from robbing to collecting nectar via the mouths of the flowers and vice versa. 4. The numbers of bumblebees and honeybees gathering pollen were greatest between 08.00 and 10.00 hours and the numbers robbing were greatest during the late afternoon. 5. Bumblebees worked faster and visited more flowers per plant than honeybees and probably their foraging areas on a single trip were no greater than honeybees. However, their foraging areas during several trips were larger.
Journal of Applied Ecology © 1968 British Ecological Society