I have always been observing bees visiting my Bush Grape (Cayratia mollissima) plants in the evenings. What I observed was that the Dwarf Honey Bees (Apis andreniformis) were busy collecting nectar from the flowers. Their proboscis was always probing the flowers. The stamens had already dropped. And all the bees’ pollen baskets or corbicula, found on the hind legs were devoid of pollen. What was interesting was that the few bigger Common Honey Bees (Apis cerana) that were foraging together with the Dwarf Honey Bees had their pollen basket packed with yellow pollen, probably obtained from other flowers.
One morning I visited the Bush Grape flowers and found that their stamens were intact in the freshly opened flowers. But what was interesting was that many Dwarf Honey Bees had their pollen baskets similarly packed with yellow pollen. As usual, there were a few bigger Common Honey Bees around and their pollen baskets were again packed with yellow pollen. The video below shows both species of bees collecting pollen and nectar from the Bush Grape flowers.
Pollen from the flowers will stick to the hairs on the bee’s body. These pollen will subsequently be “swept” up and packed into the pollen basket. Try catching the bees doing this in the video.
28th December 2018