Free access
Volume 25, Number 3, 1994
Page(s) 338 - 349
Apidologie 25 (1994) 338-349
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19940310

Pollen deposition by Bombus terrestris L, between male-fertile and male-sterile plants in Vicia faba L

S. Carréa, I. Badenhaussera, J.N. Taséia, J. Le Guenb and J. Mesquidac

a  INRA, Laboratoire de Zoologie, 86600 Lusignan, France
b  INRA, Station d'Amélioration des Plantes, 35650 Le Rheu, France
c  INRA, Station de Zoologie, 35650 Le Rheu, France

Abstract - We have studied pollen transfer by Bombus terrestris from a male-fertile line (D-27) to a male-sterile line (INRA Ad 23) of Vicia faba. Studies on visitation sequences were conducted with single workers visiting caged plants. The average pollen production was 24 200 ± 2 000 grains per flower, and the pollen carried on the head and thorax of a worker after visiting 10 male-fertile flowers ranged between 1 620 ± 300 and 6 300 ± 400 grains. Of 21 workers, only 11 foraged on male-sterile flowers. The total amount of pollen deposited on stigmas by a single worker was on average 55 grains. A total of 67% visited flowers received no grains at all on the stigma. The size of non-null stigma loads ranged from 1 to 152 grains, but frequency of small deposits (1-10 grains) was high (78%). Runs varied greatly in visitation sequence length and pollen deposition patterns on successively visited flowers, which were not always monotonically decreasing. Statistical analysis by Monte-Carlo tests has provided a good method for studying sequences.

Key words: Bombus terrestris / Vicia fabal / pollination / pollen transfer / Monte-carlo simulation test