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Limited cross plant movement and non-crop preferences reduce the efficiency of honey bees as pollinators of hybrid carrot seed crops

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Gaffney, A, Bohman, B, Quarrell, SR ORCID: 0000-0003-1112-4140, Brown, PH and Allen, GR 2019 , 'Limited cross plant movement and non-crop preferences reduce the efficiency of honey bees as pollinators of hybrid carrot seed crops' , Insects, vol. 10, no. 2 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.3390/insects10020034.

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Abstract

Pollination rates in hybrid carrot crops remain limited after introduction of honey bee hives. In this study, honey bee foraging behaviour was observed in commercial hybrid carrot seed crops. Significantly more visits were made to male-fertile (MF) rather than cytoplasmically male-sterile (CMS) flowers. Pollen was collected from bees returning to a hive, to determine daily variation in pollen loads collected and to what level the bees were foraging for carrot pollen. Honey bees visited a wide range of alternative pollen sources and made relatively few visits to carrot plants throughout the period of flowering. Visitation rates to other individual floral sources fluctuated but visitation to carrot was consistently low. The underlying rate of carrot pollen visits among collecting trips was modelled and estimated to be as low as 1.4%, a likely cause of the limited success implementing honey bee hives in carrot crops.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gaffney, A and Bohman, B and Quarrell, SR and Brown, PH and Allen, GR
Keywords: pollination, carrot, seed, honey bee
Journal or Publication Title: Insects
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 2075-4450
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/insects10020034
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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