The likely impact of the honeybee on a native pollination system was examined by studying the effectiveness of honeybees (Apis mellifera) as pollen vectors of Grevillea × gaudichaudii, near Bargo, New South Wales. Honeybees were the most frequent visitors to Grevillea inflorescences at the study site. Bees were found to be specific in their foraging, because only one pollen type was represented in the corbicula of each bee returning to a hive but the Grevillea was not present in these pollen loads. Bees were observed foraging for nectar on Grevillea plants in the study area, but had no Grevillea pollen on their bodies and failed to transfer pollen to stigmas of 500 flowers during two hours of observations over two days. It is concluded that bees harvested nectar from this plant species without effecting pollination, and would therefore make the plants less attractive to native pollinators without compensating for any consequent reduction in reproductive success.
Can honeybees pollinate Grevillea?
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George Taylor, Robert Whelan; Can honeybees pollinate Grevillea?. Australian Zoologist 1 September 1988; 24 (4): 193–196. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.1988.001
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