Vol. 6 No. 3 (2000)

Flower constancy of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) to blooming pear plantations

Published June 6, 2000
P. Benedek
University of West Hungary, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Mosonmagyaróvár, Vár 4., H-9201 Hungary
J. Ruff
Keszthely, Stromfeld u. 2/a, H-8360 Hungary
Cs. Nagy
Szentendre, Törökvölgyi u. 9/a, H-2000 Hungary
J. Nyéki
Debrecen University, Centre of Agricultural Sciences, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary


Benedek, P., Ruff, J., Nagy, C., & Nyéki, J. (2000). Flower constancy of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) to blooming pear plantations. International Journal of Horticultural Science, 6(3), 81–85. https://doi.org/10.31421/IJHS/6/3/107

Studies were made on the composition of pollen loads of honeybees captured at the flowers of blooming pear trees in pear plantations. Also the foraging behaviour of honeybees was observed. Overwhelming majority of honeybees visiting the flowers of 13 pear cultivars in 1996 were pollen gatherers (95.6 per cent). Proportion of pure nectar gatherers was as low as some 3.7 per cent and no more than 0.7 per cent performed mixed behaviour. The analysis of pollen loads of bees collected at pear flowers in blooming pear plantations showed that fidelity was as high as 89-90 per cent towards pear, higher than for another fruit species in other studies. Even those plant species that are regarded to be strong competitors of blooming fruit trees in the literature (Taraxacum officinale, Stellaria media, Lamium purpureum) were scarcely represented in the loads. Accordingly, honeybees can be much more important and more effective pollinating agents of pear cultivars than generally believed.



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