New Methods Applied to Studies on the Sugar Content of Nectars

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Results of recent experiments by the writer show that the honeybee changes the concentration of nectar or sirup only very slightly while gathering a load and carrying it to the hive. The change is a decrease instead of an increase as has been assumed by many heretofore. The amount of decrease varies directly with the concentration of the nectar or sirup. Observed decreases varied from one-fiftieth of 1 per cent on a' 13 per cent sirup to 1.8 per cent on a 64 per cent sirup. The average decrease for Iowa nectars commonly gathered by the honeybee is about 1 per cent. For most practical purposes, it may be considered that the honeybee does not materially change the concentration of nectar while gathering a load of it and carrying it to the hive. Honeysac contents of honeybees captured while gathering nectar from a given plant species, may be used with much confidence for the purpose of obtaining a very close approximation to the actual concentration of the nectar as found in those flowers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1932

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