Food collection behavior of Apis mellifera L., 1758 (Hymenoptera, apidae) in five eucalyptus species
Ten flowers of each of the Eucalyptus species E. citriodora, E. camaldulensis, E. grandis, E. tereticornis and E. urophylla were marked with the objective of determining the type of food (pollen or nectar) that the bees collected at three different hours (08:00, 11:00, and 16:00) daily during the blossoming period. The number of bees visiting each flower was counted at each hour during five minutes of observation. On the first and second blossoming days, E. camaldulensis was the species least visited by the bees for pollen collection at all three hours of observation, when compared with the other four species, which were equally visited. On the other hand, on the first blossoming day at 08:00 h, E. camaldulensis was the most visited species for nectar collection. It is concluded that at the beginning of the blossoming period in the majority of Eucalyptus species studied, the food most collected by the bees is pollen, while from the third blossoming day onward it is nectar. At 08:00 h the food most collected is pollen, while at 11:00 and 16:00 h it shifts to nectar. This information is important for the success of apiculture in certain regions, especially so in the case of migratory beekeeping.