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Mobility of honey bees (Apidae, Apis mellifera L.) during foraging in avocado orchards

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  • [Sdv:Ba:Zi] Life Sciences/Animal Biology/Invertebrate Zoology
  • [Sdv:Ba:Zi] Sciences Du Vivant/Biologie Animale/Zoologie Des Invertébrés
  • [Sdv:Bid] Life Sciences/Biodiversity
  • [Sdv:Bid] Sciences Du Vivant/Biodiversité
  • [Sdv:Ee] Life Sciences/Ecology
  • Environment
  • [Sdv:Ee] Sciences Du Vivant/Ecologie
  • Environnement
  • [Sdv:Sa:Spa] Life Sciences/Agricultural Sciences/Animal Production Studies
  • [Sdv:Sa:Spa] Sciences Du Vivant/Sciences Agricoles/Science Des Productions Animales


Original article Mobility of honey bees (Apidae, Apis mellifera L.) during foraging in avocado orchards Gad Ish-Ama Dan Eisikowitch aThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Horticulture, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel bUniversity of Tel-Aviv, Department of Botany, P.O. Box 39040, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel (Received 27 May 1997; accepted 28 January 1998) Abstract - The mobility of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) during foraging has a great influence on the effectiveness of the bees as cross-pollinators. In this work, honey bee mobility was mea- sured in avocado orchards, between neighbouring trees and up to a distance of 15 rows. The average number of bees crossing between adjacent rows in a 10-min period was linearly corre- lated to bee density, and the corresponding percentage increased with the increase in wind velo- city, from 30 % in a light wind (4 km/h) to up to 65 % in a strong wind (45 km/h). The bees ten- ded to travel upwind, and this tendency increased with increasing wind velocity. Consequently, under strong-wind conditions, up to 100 % of the bees travelled to the adjacent upwind row in a 10-min period. The percentage of cross-pollinating bees decreased with increasing distance from the pollen source, following a hyperbolic curve, and reached 1-2 % of the bees at a distance of 10-15 rows. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris honey bee / mobility / cross-pollination / Persea americana / avocado / wind velocity 1. INTRODUCTION Pollinator mobility is essential mainly to plants that require, or are benefited by cross-pollination (i.e. pollen transfer be- tween plants of different cultivars within the same species). This need occurs in dioecious crop species (kiwi, some papaya cultivars), in self-incompatible mono- ecious or hermaphroditic species (almond, cherry), and in crops which are partially self-incompatible (some apple and most avocado cultivars) [32]. In some of these species, such as apple and almond, cross- pollination is performed by honey bee

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