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Open AccessArticle

Limited Cross Plant Movement and Non-Crop Preferences Reduce the Efficiency of Honey Bees as Pollinators of Hybrid Carrot Seed Crops

1
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Churchill Ave, Hobart 7005, Australia
2
School of Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Perth 6009, Australia
3
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Callemondah 4701, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10020034
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop carrot; hybrid; honey bee; pollination crop carrot; hybrid; honey bee; pollination
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gaffney, A.; Bohman, B.; Quarrell, S.R.; Brown, P.H.; Allen, G.R. Limited Cross Plant Movement and Non-Crop Preferences Reduce the Efficiency of Honey Bees as Pollinators of Hybrid Carrot Seed Crops. Insects 2019, 10, 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10020034

AMA Style

Gaffney A, Bohman B, Quarrell SR, Brown PH, Allen GR. Limited Cross Plant Movement and Non-Crop Preferences Reduce the Efficiency of Honey Bees as Pollinators of Hybrid Carrot Seed Crops. Insects. 2019; 10(2):34. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10020034

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gaffney, Ann; Bohman, Björn; Quarrell, Stephen R.; Brown, Philip H.; Allen, Geoff R. 2019. "Limited Cross Plant Movement and Non-Crop Preferences Reduce the Efficiency of Honey Bees as Pollinators of Hybrid Carrot Seed Crops" Insects 10, no. 2: 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10020034

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