Comparative foraging behaviour of honey bees, Apis cerana f. and Apis mellifera l. (Hym: Apidae) on apple bloom
Sheikh Bilal Ahmad, Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar and Bilal Ahmad Pandith
The experiment was carried out to determine the foraging behaviour of honey bees, A. cerana and A. mellifera in apple orchards located at three different locations viz; Srinagar (1870 m), Shopian (2010 m) and Saller (2440 m) of Kashmir valley. A. cerana foraged for a significantly longer time, reached its peak activity, visited more flowers per minute and took greater time for completing a single forging trip on apple bloom than A. mellifera. However, A. mellifera carried significantly heavier pollen loads, a greater number of pollen grains and carried more unifloral pollen loads as compared to A. cerana. Moreover, the interspecific comparison between A. cerana and A. mellifera with regards to the top as well as side workers showed no significant differences. In addition, both A. cerana and A. mellifera, showed pronounced floral constancy. Present results suggested that altitudinal variations affect the timings of initiation and cessation of foraging activity, duration of foraging activity, duration of foraging trip and number of flowers visited per minute. However, it did not affect the peak hours of foraging, time spent per flower and weight of pollen loads carried by A. cerana and A. mellifera.
Sheikh Bilal Ahmad, Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar, Bilal Ahmad Pandith. Comparative foraging behaviour of honey bees, Apis cerana f. and Apis mellifera l. (Hym: Apidae) on apple bloom. J Entomol Zool Stud 2017;5(1):474-482.