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