Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pollen Collection Strategies Shaped by Colony Requirements

Comparison of Pollen Spectra Collected by Four Different Subspecies of the Honey Bee Apis Mellifera
Apidologie, 6/6/2007

Abstract - Colonies belonging to 4 subspecies of Apis mellifera, namely A. m. capensis, A. m. ligustica, A. m. carnica and A. m. mellifera were placed, one colony per subspecies, at 5 sites with a high floral diversity in the Taunus region in Germany.

A total amount of 4008.3 g of pollen loads were trapped during 3 seasons and 214 different pollen types were identified. The comparison of pollen spectra did not result in a separation of the subspecies. Date of sampling and sampling site, however, had a major effect on the composition of pollen samples. Furthermore, subspecies were not significantly different in the structure of dominance, evenness and diversity of pollen types.

We conclude that the investigated subspecies of Apis mellifera follow a generalist pollen foraging strategy which may be mainly shaped by natural selection to meet the nutritional and social requirements of populous colonies.

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