Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Bhalchandra Waykar and R.K. Baviskar

Department of Zoology, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad-431004 (Maharashtra), India.

Key words: Bee flora, floral calendar, honey flow period, dearth period, Apis dorsata, A. cerana indica, A. florea, A. mellifera.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2015, volume 17, issue 2, pages 155-159.

Abstract: The study was conducted at Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district during October 2012–September 2013 to identify existing bee flora and to determine honey flow and dearth period to develop the floral calendar. The flowering plants were visited and observed for the presence of honey bees and their foraging activities. Plants were reported as bee foraging species when at least three honey bees had visited the flowers within the period of 10 minutes. The result revealed that 63 plant species were useful to honeybees as source of food, out of which 41 were wild and 22 were agro-horticultural plants. The identified flora was further grouped into nectar, pollen and both nectar and pollen supplying plants. Out of 41 wild bee plant species, 17 were nectar producing, 4 were pollen producing and 20 were both nectar and pollen producing. Results also revealed that out of 22 agriculture bee plant species, 6 were nectar producing, 5 were pollen producing and 11 were both nectar and pollen producing. Mid-October to mid-December was identified as honey flow period of the year, having number of flowering plants. Mid-May to mid-August was the critical dearth period with few flowering plants. Based on the availability of flora, major characteristics of these plant species, utility status and flowering duration, the bee floral calendar was developed for Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district. The result indicated that the area has rich bee flora and is suitable for commercial bee keeping. Paithan taluka has four honey bee species, viz., Apis dorsata, A. cerana indica, A. florea and A. mellifera. Among these, A. florea and A. dorsata were dominant bee species, whereas A. mellifera was introduced species and only few colonies of A. cerana indica were observed.

Journal of Applied Horticulture