Free access
Volume 29, Number 3, 1998
Page(s) 209 - 219
Apidologie 29 (1998) 209-219
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980301

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

Gad Ish-Ama and Dan Eisikowitchb

a  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Horticulture, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
b  University of Tel-Aviv, Department of Botany, P.O. Box 39040, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel

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 measured 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 correlated to bee density, and the corresponding percentage increased with the increase in wind velocity, from 30 % in a light wind (4 km/h) to up to 65 % in a strong wind (45 km/h). The bees tended 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

Key words: honey bee / mobility / cross-pollination / Persea americana / avocado / wind velocity