Effect of nectar composition and nectar concentration on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) visitations to hybrid onion flowers

J Econ Entomol. 2000 Aug;93(4):1216-21. doi: 10.1603/0022-0493-93.4.1216.


Floral nectar characteristics of nine inbred lines of onion (Allium cepa L.) were examined to determine their influence on the attractiveness of the onion flowers to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Potassium concentrations and sugar concentrations of the nectar did not significantly correlate with the number of bee visits received by an umbel. The average amount of nectar produced by both the umbels and the individual florets was significantly positively correlated with the number of bee visits. Our results suggest that selection for flowers with high nectar production may lead to a higher rate of pollination of the onion seed crop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior*
  • Bees / physiology*
  • Carbohydrates / physiology
  • Honey
  • Onions / physiology*
  • Potassium / physiology


  • Carbohydrates
  • Potassium