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1 October 2003 Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging in Response to Preconditioning with Onion Flower Scent Compounds
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Abstract

Onion (Allium cepa L.) seed production has long been plagued with yield problems because of lack of pollination by the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. To attempt to attract more pollinators to the onion seed production field, honey bees were conditioned to associate onion floral odor components with a reward. Isolated nucleus hives of honey bees were fed 30% sucrose solutions scented with a 0.2% solution of onion floral odor compounds. After feeding on these solutions for 6 wk, bees were not found to prefer onion flowers to two competing food sources, carrot and alfalfa flowers, at the 5% significance level. However, there was an overall trend indicating a change in honey bee behavior, with fewer “trained” bees visiting alfalfa and carrot and more visiting onion. Thus, it may be possible to alter honey bee behavior with preconditioning but probably not to a degree that would be economically significant.

Erin M. Silva, Bill B. Dean, and Larry K. Hiller "Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging in Response to Preconditioning with Onion Flower Scent Compounds," Journal of Economic Entomology 96(5), 1510-1513, (1 October 2003). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-96.5.1510
Received: 11 February 2003; Accepted: 1 June 2003; Published: 1 October 2003
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