Study of Evaluation of Foraging Behaviour of Major Insect Pollinators on Summer Squash (Cucurbita Pepo L.)
Devika Rani D, Triveni B, Nandini and Narsa Reddy G
An experiment on the insect pollinators was conducted with four summer squash hybrids viz., Parikrama, Chandra, Chamatkar and Gold Queen at the Research Farm of the Department of Entomology, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. Foragers of A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. florea and A. cerana commenced their pollen collection activity at 0600, 0630, 0700 and 0700 h, with peak periods at 0600-0800, 0800-1000, 1000-1200 and 0800-1000 h respectively and all of them ceased their activity between 1700- 1800 h. Out of the total foragers of the day for A. mellifera, 47.93 per cent were pollen, 19.01 per cent were nectar collectors and 33.06 per cent were pollen+nectar collectors. A. mellifera spent maximum time (10.30 seconds/flower), whereas, A. florea spent least time (2.51 seconds/flower) while these values are 7.61 and 5.10 seconds/flower for A. dorsata and A. cerana. All the four bee species viz., A. mellifera, A. ceranaa, A. dorsata and A. florea foraged on summer squash flowers as top workers and they were in well contact with male and female parts of the flowers when collecting nectar and/or pollens. The number of loose pollen grains sticking to the body of A. dorsata was registered maximum (av. 165000 pollen grains) followed by Apis mellifera (97750 pollen grains), Apis ceranaa (60,000 pollen grains) and Apis florea (48750 pollen grains) under agro-ecological conditions of Hisar (Haryana).