The ability of bumblebees and honeybees to pollinate red clover.

Published online
19 Dec 1966
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Free, J. B.

Publication language


The percentage of florets of the Trifolium pratense varieties Altaswede, Berry's and Essex which set seed when visited by Apis mellifera and Bombus agrorum respectively was noted. The percentage of florets that set seed after insect pollination compared well with the number of seeds set by hand pollination. A. mellifera visited fewer florets per head than B. agrorum but it was considered that the former were unlikely to be better pollinators; a single visit to a floret removed 87% of the pollen. There was a rapid decrease in fertility after the florets began to open on a head.

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