Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 177, Issue 1, pp 71–75

Honeybees are poor pollinators — why?

  • Christian Westerkamp

DOI: 10.1007/BF00937827

Cite this article as:
Westerkamp, C. Pl Syst Evol (1991) 177: 71. doi:10.1007/BF00937827


Contrary to most other bee species honeybees are highly eusocial and hold extremely long-lived societies. Their all-season activities force them to use whatever plants available and prevent any specific adaptations — in the flowers, in honeybees, and in all competing bees. This flexible behaviour in flowers has been a precondition for perennial colony life. But as bees evade becoming contaminated by pollen their visits often do not result in pollination. Honeybee monocultures thus must be avoided by all means.

Key words

MalusMedicago sativaSalvia glutinosaHymenopteraApoideaApis melliferaBombusFloral constancyforagingpollinationsocial behaviour

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Westerkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches InstitutUniversität BonnBonnGermany