Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


1. Of all the various methods for marking honeybees tried by the author, the one found best adapted for the present investigation was that of applying pigment combined with white shellac in alcohol.

2. A contrivance of simple construction was devised which, when placed in the entrance of a hive, caused practically every incoming and outgoing bee to pass thru the entrance dorsal side up, thereby enabling the observer to detect the marked bees.

3. A suitable method was discovered for distinguishing between nectar-carriers and water-carriers without injury to the bee.

4. The average speed determined for the flight of worker bees during a calm, was a little less than 15 miles per hour.

5. The time required for gathering a load of nectar varies greatly, but, under favorable conditions, one hour has been shown to be ample time for a nectar-carrier to make a round trip.

6. Ten trips per day, under favorable conditions, probably is as reliable an average as can be deducted from the data at hand for nectar-carriers.

7. The time required for a pollen-carrier to make a round trip varies greatly, but when gathering from corn under favorable conditions, trips are completed in a quarter of an hour or less, on the average.

8. The number of trips made by one pollen-carrier in a day was not great, as a rule, because corn pollen usually is not available after about noon; consequently an unqualified statement for the average number of trips made in a day would scarcely be justified.

9. A water carrier can make a round trip in about five minutes, on the average, when the supply is near at hand.

10. A water-carrier sometimes makes 100 or more trips in a day, but the average is probably less than half that number.

11. Field bees normally spend less than five minutes in the hive between field trips, regardless of whether they carry nectar, pollen or water.



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