The mineral, total amino acid, and sterol compositions of pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. were compared with the pollen of a plant consumed by Bombus terrestris (L.): Arbutus unedo L. This plant provides the predominant food resource for the main autumn generation of B. terrestris in southern France. Honey bees also forage on this plant, although only for nectar. The mineral composition of 30 pollen samples collected by honey bees is close to the presently known requirements of A. mellifera, except for Cu and Mn, which are substantially lower. The total amino acid mean composition of a set of 54 pollen samples fits the basic requirements of honey bees except for valine, isoleucine, and methionine, which are present in lower concentrations in all the samples. For pollen of A. unedo, the amino acid balance is not very different from that of the survey. The main sterolic component in pollen of A. unedo, β-sitosterol, is known to have antifeedant effects on A. mellifera. Honey bees cannot dealkylate C29 sterols like β-sitosterol or δ5-avenasterol to obtain C27 cholesterol and ecdysteroids. Because these phytosterols as well as cholesterol are nearly absent from pollen of A. unedo, the metabolic capabilities of Apis seem unadapted to this plant. On the contrary, pollen of A. unedo is freely consumed by B. terrestris, which develops huge autumn populations solely on this food. These data indicate that the sterolic metabolisms of B. terrestris and A. mellifera differ, allowing separation in foraging activity.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 98 • No. 3