The foraging force and pollen collection of European and European × Africanized hybrid worker honey bees, Apis mellifera L., housed in a common nest environment were compared. Significant heterogeneity was found within both genotype populations for the proportion of the bees that foraged, as well as for the proportion of foragers that collected pollen. However, there was not a consistent bias for either genotype to collect pollen or to field a greater proportion of the total foraging population. These results suggest that when sharing a common environment, European × Africanized hybrids and European honey bees do not differ with respect to individual foraging decisions. Results also suggest that the pollinating efficiency of commercial colonies maintained in Africanized areas will probably not diminish as a consequence of introgression of African honey bee genes, if problems associated with their management can be controlled.
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Vol. 93 • No. 1