A BIOASSAY FOR COMPARING ATTRACTIVENESS OF PLANTS TO HONEYBEES
D C ROBACKER AND E H ERICKSON, Jr
A bioassay for comparing attractiveness of plants to honeybees (Apis mellI/era) is described. Regression of data obtained from the bioassay showed that the method indicated greater attractiveness for plants with more flowers, greater amounts of nectar per flower, more intensely coloured flowers, larger flowers, and more fully open flowers. The bioassay relies on the distribution of foragers and not on preferences of individual bees and can be used to compare plants having temporally offset flowering periods, since comparisons are relative to a standard.