The European honey bee is particularly well adapted for pollination. Each colony has many individuals available to collect pollen and, therefore provide pollination services. Honey bees have a complex communication system, allowing individuals to "point out" food sources to other members of the colony. The European honey bee also has a well developed sense of smell and is easily able to locate flowers. When a worker bee visits a flower, pollen is dusted all over its body and is then transferred between flowers. In a single day, one bee can make more than 12 trips from the hive and can visit several thousand flowers.
In the United States, honey bees pollinate over 90 commercial crops and add billions of dollars per year to agricultural output. In fact, over 3.5 million acres of crop land in the United States is reliant upon honey bees for pollination. Some specific crops pollinated by the honey bee include apple, strawberry, almond, cotton, broccoli, carrot, pepper, and squash.
- Honey Bee, AgriLIFE Extension, Texas A & M System
- Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Carpenter Bees, and Sweat Bees, R. Wright, P. Mulder, and H. Reed, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
- Honeybee Biology, Ross E. Koning, Plant Physiology Website, 1994
- Pollination and Honey Bees, R. D. Fell, Mid-Atlantic Orchard Monitoring Guide, April 27, 2005
- Stinging Insects: Honey Bees, K. Gardner, C. Klass, and N. Calderone, Cornell University - Master Beekeeper Program
- University of Georgia Honey Bee Program, University of Georgia
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