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Title: Pollen collection by honey bee hives in almond orchards indicate diverse diets
Contributor(s): Bezerra da Silva Santos, Karen Cristine  (author); Frost, Elizabeth (author); Samnegard, Ulrika  (author); Saunders, Manu E  (author)orcid ; Rader, Romina  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022-11
Early Online Version: 2022-07-27
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2022.07.006
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Almond is one of the world's most economically valuable crops and many varieties require cross pollination for optimal fruit set. For this reason, western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) hives are often placed in almond orchards. However, little is known about the usage of almond and other pollen sources by individual hives during almond bloom. Here, we investigated the timing, identity and quantity of pollen collection associated with almond floral abundance and spatial location of individual hives by sampling 440 individual pollen tray samples and counting 45,072 pollen grains from 13,200 pollen pellets collected from 80 individual hives across the flowering season in Victoria, south-eastern Australia. A large proportion of hives collected non-almond pollen in addition to almond pollen (63/80 = 79%). The weight of almond pollen collected by the hives at each sampling time was positively related to the number of concurrently open almond flowers. However, non-almond pollen richness and abundance was not related to the number of almond flowers but had a positive relationship with the weight of almond pollen collected. There was no relationship between the distance among hives and identity of pollen collected. Yet, three plant families in the study area were found to account for a high percentage of the non-almond pollen collected, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae and Asteraceae. Understanding crop and non-crop pollen collection could inform honey bee diet needs and identify the plant species of importance to inform best practice bee management during almond flowering.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DE170101349
Source of Publication: Basic and Applied Ecology, v.64, p. 68-78
Publisher: Elsevier GmbH
ISSN: 1618-0089
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310302 Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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