Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers

posted in: Bees and wasps, Fauna, Videography | 0

The Bilimbing (Averrhoa bilimbi) is a smallish tree that is commonly planted for its sour fruits often used in Asian cooking. The flowers are reddish, in small bunches arising from the stem and branches of the tree. They open in the early morning and attract small bees that come for the pollen and nectar.

The Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) gathers the pollen grains (rich in protein and fat), storing them in the pair of pollen baskets located on the outer surface of the hind legs. Check out the video clip below and notice the prominent white bulges on the hind legs, packed full of pollen.

Much bigger than the Stingless Bee is the Asian Hive Bee (Apis cerena). This bee similarly has pollen baskets but these are not seen in the video below.

Unlike the pollen, which is collected in pollen baskets, honey is stored in the bee’s crop. Back at the hive the honey and pollen are stored in comb cells. As the pollen has a short shelf life, honey is mixed with it before storage.

YC Wee
Singapore
September 2014

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