Differences in pollen sources of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera at a primary beech forest in central Japan
Teruyoshi Nagamitsu; Tamiji Inoue
Plant taxa of pollen sources for Apis cerana japonica and A. mellifera ligustica at a primary beech forest in Ashiu ( Kyoto, Japan) were compared. Most pollen sources were shared between the two honey bee species. Seasonal variation in the pollen utilization of the two bee species were similar from April to October. Pollen source overlap in interspecific pairs of colonies was smaller than that in intraspecific pairs at the start and end of the season. Pollen collection from seven plant taxa differed between A. cerana and A. mellifera; A. cerana preferred tall trees, while A. mellifera favoured short herbs. Dioecious and andromonoecious flowers with green petals were preferred by A. cerana. These findings suggest differences in both resource location and visual attractiveness of pollen sources between the two honey bee species, which were emphasized when air temperature was low.