The foraging behaviour of the introduced honey bee Apis mellifera on the saltmarsh plant Sarcocornia quinqueflora was observed over three days at Sydney Olympic Park in February 2007. Within an observation area of approximately 3m × 3m, the number of flowering and non-flowering branches of S. quinqueflora visited by bees and an estimated duration of each visit was recorded. The foraging behaviour of 63 bees was observed on branches within the observation area with a significantly greater mean number of flowering branches (3.68±1.86) visited compared to non-flowering branches (1.58±1.72) per bee. The mean visitation time to flowering branches by each bee (2.1 1 ±0.58 sec per branch) was significantly greater than that of non-flowering branches (1.29±0.41 sec). The majority of bees collected had pollen from S. quinqueflora on all parts of their body, as well as within the corbicula. Combined with the disturbance of pollen, that may assist wind dispersal, the transfer of pollen between the saltmarsh plants by A. mellifera may play a role in their pollination but further research is required.
Observations on the foraging behaviour of the introduced honeybee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on the saltmarsh plant Sarcocornia quinqueflora at Sydney Olympic Park
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Cameron Webb; Observations on the foraging behaviour of the introduced honeybee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on the saltmarsh plant Sarcocornia quinqueflora at Sydney Olympic Park. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2011; 35 (3): 884–887. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2011.042
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