Letter | Published:

Honey from Ailanthus

Nature volume 155, page 81 (20 January 1945) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE attraction of hive-bees to the flowers of the Tree of Heaven, recorded by Dr. R. Melville in Nature recently1, has also been noted by me in Oxford. On July 14, 1944, I was awakened at dawn by a continuous high-pitched whining hum, like that of a dynamo, in the tall trees outside this Museum, and found it to be caused by thousands of Apis mellifica which were visiting the male flowers. The latter are obscure and small-petalled, in large panicles, and give off a strong musky scent. Dr. Nicholas Polunin, who kindly identified the flowers as Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle, remarked that this kind of disagreeable smell is more commonly associated with fly-pollinated flowers such as certain Umbelliferæ. But I searched several branches at different times of day, and found practically no winged insects on the flowers except hive-bees, apart from a few small ladybird beetles.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Nature, 154, 640 (1944).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Bureau of Animal Population, University Museum, Oxford.

    • CHARLES ELTON

Authors

  1. Search for CHARLES ELTON in:

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/155081a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.