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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 291–295 | Cite as

Intra-colonial foraging specialism by honey bees (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera:Apidae)

  • Benjamin P. Oldroyd
  • Thomas E. Rinderer
  • Steven M. Buco
Article

Summary

Colonies of honey bees with two identifiable subfamilies were established. Returning foragers were captured and killed at two different sampling times. The mean volume and per cent soluble solids of crop contents were determined for each subfamily, as was the mean weight of the pollen pellets. No significant differences in nectar volume or concentration were detected between subfamilies within colonies. However, in a few colonies, significant subfamily by sampling-time interactions were present, suggesting that in these colonies subfamilies differed in their nectar and pollen collecting behavior at different times of day. The plant genera worked by pollen foragers were also determined. In four of six colonies, bees of different subfamilies were found to be majoring on different plant species (Fig. 1). Implications of this intra-colonial variance in foraging behavior for colony fitness are discussed.

Keywords

Plant Species Sampling Time Soluble Solid Plant Genus Nectar Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin P. Oldroyd
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Rinderer
    • 1
  • Steven M. Buco
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA-ARSHoney-Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research LaboratoryBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Statistical ResourcesBaton RougeUSA

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