TitleTemporal and spatial foraging patterns of three Asian honey bee species in Bangalore, India
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsYoung A.M., Kohl P.L., Rutschmann B., teffen-Dewenter I, Brockmann A
Date Published02/21

Honey bees (genus Apis) are important pollinators in Asian tropical agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet the Asian species remain vastly understudied compared to the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. We studied the temporal and spatial foraging patterns of three co-occurring Asian honey bee species in Bangalore, India, to gain a better understanding of how they coexist. We found evidence for temporal resource partitioning, with Apis cerana having activity peaks in the early mornings, Apis florea initiating foraging later in the day, and Apis dorsata having the potential to do much of its foraging activity at night, even when the moon is not yet up. Apart from the established species differences in foraging ranges, we found limited evidence of spatial partitioning of the landscape. Although individual colonies foraging in parallel often focused their foraging effort on different patches, all three species preferred foraging in cultivated garden areas to seminatural or urban areas. These observations add to the growing evidence for a key role of gardens as foraging habitat for bees in cities.