Honeybees with larger corbiculae carry larger pollen pellets
Charles P. Milne, Jr. And Karen J. Pries
Twenty returning pollen foragers with conspicuous pollen loads were collected at the entrance of each of 10 colonies and the corbicular areas and relative volumes of the pollen pellets were measured for each metathoracic leg. The areas of the 382 corbiculae measured ranged from 1.543 to 2.281 mm2 and pollen pellet volumes from 5.066 to 47.74 mm3. Corbicular area and pollen pellet volume were significantly correlated (r = 0.131, n = 382, P = 0.0103). The correlation was even greater for the 100 largest pairs of corbiculae bearing pollen pellets more than 20 mm3 in volume (r = 0.256, n = 100, P = 0.0099). It was concluded that workers with large corbiculae carry significantly larger pollen pellets than workers with smaller corbiculae. Possible effects on colony honey yields are discussed.