Differential nectar foraging by Africanized and European honeybees in the neotropics

publication date: Jun 22, 2011
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 26 (4) pp. 238-239
Date
December 1987
Article Title

Differential nectar foraging by Africanized and European honeybees in the neotropics

Author(s)

Daniel G. Pesante, Thomas E. Rinderer And Anita M. Collins

Abstract

A one-year study was conducted on nectar foraging and honey storage by Africanized (tropical) and European (temperate) honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Patterns of nectar foraging were distinctly different in the two geographical types. Among Africanized honeybees, lower proportions of the foraging force were engaged in foraging for nectar only, but a higher proportion foraged for both nectar and pollen. In addition, Africanized bees collected lower volumes per foraging trip than European honeybees, but returned to the colony with nectars having a higher sugar content. The two geographical types contributed similar amounts of joules (energy) per average forager and, therefore, made similar net contributions of carbohydrate energy to the colony. However, European colonies always had more stored honey than Africanized colonies. The observed differences in foraging patterns could not account for all of the measured difference in stored honey; several testable hypotheses are presented to explain this.

Keywords

Nectar, foraging, Africanized honeybees, European honeybees, Neotropics

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