Free Access
Volume 31, Number 3, May-june 2000
Page(s) 387 - 409
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000130

Apidologie 31 (2000) 387-409

Pollen quality of fresh and 1-year-old single pollen diets for worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Stephen F. Pernal - Robert W. Currie

Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2

(Received 4 February 1999; revised 26 October 1999; accepted 4 November 1999)


Newly-emerged honey bees were placed in cages and fed sucrose syrup and one of the following single-pollen diets: Malus domestica Borkh., Brassica campestris L., Phacelia tanacetifolia L., Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall., Helianthus annuus L., Pinus banksiana (Lamb.), artificial supplement (Bee-Pro $^{\circledR}$) or nothing. Hypopharyngeal gland protein was determined at intervals of 0, 3, 8 and 14 days and ovary development was visually scored on day 14. The development of hypopharyngeal glands and ovaries varied with diet and, collectively, proved to be sensitive measures of protein utilization and pollen quality. For workers fed 1-year-old Phacelia pollen, protein was utilized in a differential fashion, promoting the development of ovaries over that of hypopharyngeal glands. Development of glands and ovaries was strongly correlated with the amount of protein workers consumed from pollen diets, and to a lesser extent, the crude protein content of diets. Storing pollen for 1 year by freezing did not affect gland or ovary development.

Keywords: Apis mellifera / hypopharyngeal gland / ovary / nutrition / protein / pollen

Correspondence and reprints: Stephen F. Pernal

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