Foraging preference of indigenous hive bee, Apis cerana F. to selected horticultural crops

Author: 

Neupane K. R., D. D. Dhakal, R. B. Thapa and D. M. Gautam.2007.IAAS Res. Adv.1:85-88(2007).

Keywords: 

Apis cerana, foraging preference, horticulture crops.

A field study was conducted at IAAS, Chitwan, Nepal to investigate the foraging preference of Apis cerana F. worker bees to selected horticultural crops-litchi (Litchi chinensis, Garetin), citrus (Citrus spp.), bottle brush (Calistemon lanceolatus L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and summer squash (Cucumis pepo L.) during their blooming seasons, March to may, 2001. Number of worker bees of A. cerana foraging at different periods of the day and flowering period of the experimental plants differed significantly. The worker bee visited only to litchi, radish and bottle brush flowers neglecting citrus, cucumber and summer squash flowers showing a distinct foraging preference. They collected mostly nectar from litchi and pollen from radish flowers. Their foraging number was higher during early morning hours on radish, late morning hour litchi and during afternoon hours on bottle brush flowers. Their number was also increased from early flowering period to the mid flowering period and then it declined at the late flowering period of both radish and litchi.