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Morphological variation in the pollen collecting apparatus of honey bees

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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 45 (1) pp.25 - 26
DOI
10.3896/IBRA.1.45.1.06
Date
March 2006
Article Title

Morphological variation in the pollen collecting apparatus of honey bees

Author(s)

Randall Hepburn and Sarah Radloff

Abstract

The morphology of the pollen-collecting apparatus and mechanics of collecting pollen by honey bees were described long ago (Casteel, 1912). However, the possible usefulness of morphological characteristics of the pollen collecting apparatus in apine taxonomy remains virtually unexplored. Maa (1953) found that these characters cannot be used to discriminate among species. Similarly, Ford et al. (1981) showed that the frequency distributions of tibial setae differed amongst worker honey bees of the same species. In this note we present an original cladistic analysis of morphometric data of 8 species of honey bees previously reported by Hepburn et al. (2005) and discuss pollen collecting in an aerodynamic context.

Keywords

Apis, honey bees, pollen basket, morphology

 
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