Generalization versus Specialization in Pollination Systems: Visitors, Thieves, and Pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae)

The honey bee A. mellifera is commonly considered to be a generalist forager, visiting many plant species [58]. Although it usually visits flowers more frequently than other flower visitors [59]–[61], its effectiveness as a pollinator is likely to differ, depending upon its foraging behaviour [59], [62] and the morphology of the flowers [60]. Our finding that A. mellifera had a negative impact on H. aristata seed production might be because of a combination of both of the above-mentioned factors. Nevertheless, as much as successful pollination is highly dependent on ‘trait-matching’ between flowers and their visitors [24], [44], [66]–[68], we agree that the visitor’s body size plays an important role in the assessment of the pollination syndrome validity. The large bees were effective pollinators whereas the relatively smaller bee A. mellifera had a negative effect on H. aristata reproduction. This assumption supports the idea that the bee pollination syndrome should be divided further into large-bee and small-bee syndromes [73], [74].
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0059299