Free access
Volume 21, Number 2, 1990
Page(s) 115 - 121
Apidologie 21 (1990) 115-121
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19900204

Honey bee (Apis mellifera L) response to simulated onion nectars containing variable sugar and potassium concentrations

J.R. Hagler

USDA-ARS, Honey Bee and Biological Control of Insects, 2000 East Allen Road, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

Abstract - Potassium concentrations in nectars of several common onion (Allium cepa L) cultivars were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Concentrations ranged from 5 347 to 6 914 ppm. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L) collection of artificial nectars containing potassium, glucose, fructose, and sucrose concentrations, similar to several common onion cultivars, was evaluated quantitatively. Bees ingested greater volumes of nectar containing low potassium content. When simulated nectars had approximately equal concentrations of potassium, bees preferred nectar with higher carbohydrate content.

Key words: Apis mellifera / nectar / attractiveness / chemical composition / potassium / Allium cepa