Number and distribution of cashew (Anacardium occidentale) pollen grains on the bodies of its pollinators, Apis mellifera and entris tarsata
Breno M Freitas
The number and distribution of cashew (Anacardium OCCidentale) pollen grains on the bodies of honey bees (Apis meJli(era) and a solitary bee (Centris tarsata) were studied. There was a significant difference between the number of pollen grains found on the bodies of male and female C. tarsata and A. mellifera foragers. Female C. tarsata carried twice as much pollen as A. melli(era foragers. It is shown that cashew pollen was selectively distributed on a pollinator's body and that it had little mobility on the bodies of the bees, tending to remain on the body parts upon which it was initially deposited. Areas of the body of the bee which had greater densities of cashew pollen had also touched cashew stigmas, supporting suggestions that A. mellifera and C. tarsata are effective cashew pollinators. It is suggested that for plant species with pollen deposition on and reception from localized areas of a floral visitor, displacement of their pollen over the entire visitor's body reduces its efficiency as a pollinator.