The foraging areas of honeybees in an orchard of standard apple trees.
The numbers of honey and solitary bees visiting 5 varieties of apple growing in the same orchard were correlated with the abundance of their flowers. The relative attractiveness of each variety depended on the stage of flowering. Honeybees distinguished between at least some of the varieties and, when the variety they were visiting remained relatively attractive, they tended to remain constant to it. When this variety became less attractive, they tended to move to another. The foraging areas of individual honeybees on attractive varieties remained quite small over consecutive trips. The implications of these results on the efficient planting of orchards for cross-pollination are discussed.-Rothamsted exp. Stat., Harpenden, Herts.