Differential nectar foraging by Africanized and European honeybees in the neotropics
Daniel G. Pesante, Thomas E. Rinderer And Anita M. Collins
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.
Nectar, foraging, Africanized honeybees, European honeybees, Neotropics