ARTHROPOD-PLANT INTERACTIONS, vol.11, no.3, pp.403-409, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
Information on the pollination ecology and floral visitors of the noxious weed Centaurea solstitialis is available for several populations in its invasive range, but limited information is available in its native range, with most studies conducted on the Greek island of Lesvos. Herein, we document the visitation pattern of bees and explore the relationship of bee body size and nectar availability in weedy populations of C. solstitialis from an urban environment within its native range in northwestern Turkey. Studies were conducted at patches of C. solstitialis in abandoned lots at the Uludag University near the city of Bursa. A total of 41 species, including honey bees, belonging to five families and 19 genera were recorded. Small megachilid and halictid bee species were the most common visitors. Average nectar standing crop volume per floret was low (0.003-0.117 mu L) and did not significantly vary throughout the day. Average bee head width significantly correlated with average nectar standing crop volume but did not significantly change throughout the day. Analyses of pollen loads as well as direct observations of bee foraging behavior indicate that a large number of bees visit C. solstitialis, primarily in search of nectar while carrying a large percentage of pollen grains of this plant species on their bodies. These results are similar to previous observations on a non-weedy population of C. solstitialis from the island of Lesvos.