Increasing the amount of foreign pollen carried by honey bee foragers
J B Free; R J Paxton; E S Waghchoure
Inserting rows of soft bristles into the entrances of hives facilitated the transfer of pollen between incoming and outgoing foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera). Outgoing foragers carried more pollen grains (significant differences in two of five trials) and more species (significant differences in four of five trials) of pollen than outgoing foragers in hives not fitted with bristles, and so were likely to be more efficient cross-pollinators. Hive entrance bristles are easy to use and have the potential to increase the pollinating efficiency of honey bee colonies at little cost; their design and use deserves further study.