The transport of pollen on the body hairs of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and bumblebees (Bombus spp. L.).

Published online
01 Jan 1974
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Free, J. B. & Williams, I. H.

Publication language


Pollen was transferred from the body of one honeybee to another as they brushed against each other inside the hive. Much of the pollen on the bodies of bees leaving to forage came from plant species other than those on which they were working. This contributed to cross-pollination.Honeybees, and a few bumble bees and solitary bees, were collected on crop plants; the predominant pollen on the bee's body came from the crop on which it was captured, but"foreign" pollen was also found. The proportion was particularly high for honeybees foraging on Trifolium pratense, as they were robbing the nectar through holes bitten by bumble bees. In general, nectar foragers had a greater proportion of "foreign" pollen on their bodies than pollen foragers.P. Walker.

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