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Psyche
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 891906, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/891906
Research Article

Flower Constancy in the Generalist Pollinator Ceratina flavipes (Hymenoptera: Apidae): An Evaluation by Pollen Analysis

1Faculty of Science, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
2Graduate School of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, N10W5, Sapporo 060-0810, Hokkaido, Japan

Received 25 July 2009; Accepted 11 December 2009

Academic Editor: Claus Rasmussen

Copyright © 2010 Midori Kobayashi-Kidokoro and Seigo Higashi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The food habits of the solitary bee Ceratina flavipes were studied by observation on foraging behavior and identifying the pollen grains that they collected. It appeared that C. flavipes tend to collect pollen from particular species; however, they visit multiple flowering species. We analyzed pollen sources from pollen loads of dried specimens from single foraging trips (SFT) and in pollen balls created from a single foraging day (SD). The pollen from all pollen balls in a nest represented the harvest from an entire breeding season (BP). This analysis showed that each bee on average collected pollen from 3.24 (SFTs), 2.02 (SD), and 3.12 (BP) flowering species. Bees collected pollen from a total of 14 flowering plant species. Furthermore, we calculated when pollen balls were created and found no significant interaction between seasonal pollen availability and bee preferences. Moreover, bees had consistent flower preferences, even if the preferred flower was not dominant at all times. These results indicate that C. flavipes exhibits flower constancy, and therefore, the generalist pollinator C. flavipes could function like a specialist pollinator.