A study on nectar and pollen sources for honeybee, Apis mellifera L. in Al-Ahsa Saudi Arabia
El-Kazafy Abdou Taha
This study was conducted at the apiary of Agricultural and Veterinary Training and Research Station, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa province, East of Saudi Arabia for two successive years 2012 and 2013 to make a map of nectar and pollen sources in Al-Ahsa province. Throughout the year, we recorded seventy nine sources of bee forage belonging to 24 plant families. Sixty six species were recorded as nectar sources, while the recorded pollen sources were 77 species. Medicago sativa L., Ziziphus spp. and Citrus spp. were the dominant sources of nectar. The yearly average amount of collected pollen was 2.23 kg/colony. The highest amount of trapped pollen loads was obtained during March. The most abundant pollen sources were found to be Cucurbita pepo Thunb (21.10%), followed by Phoenix dactylifera L. (20.25%), Helianthus annuus L. (18.15%), M. sativa L. (17.42%) and Brassica napus L. (17.05%). Beekeepers could trap pollen loads that were collected from these sources during January-May and September-October, February-March, March-August, May-June, and January-March, respectively. It was possible to map the major and minor sources of honeybee flora in Al-Ahsa province throughout the year.