Relative abundance of insect pollinators and their correlation with important abiotic factors on almond
Shahida Altaf, Ishtiyaq Ahad and Baba ZA
Studies on relative abundance of various insect pollinators on almond crop were carried out at three districts viz. Srinigar, Budgam and Pulwama of Kashmir valley. Insect diversity studies showed that almond flowers were visited by 12 species of insect pollinators belonging to 6 families and three orders Hymenoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera. Foraging populations of honeybees responded differently to abiotic factors. Peak activity hymenopteran and lepidopteran was observed between 1200-1400 pm, however peak activity of dipterans was observed between 0800-0900am. Hymenopterans, Apis mellifera (0.836) Apis cerana (0.699) Lasioglossum spp.(0.893) Xylocopa spp (0.724) Andrena spp(0.884) Bombus tunicatus (0.601) Lepidopteran (0.469) and Dipterans (-0.580) were positively correlated with temperature and sunshine but negatively correlated with relative humidity except dipterans. Sunshine showed significant positive correlation but rainfall showed negative impact. These results suggested to maintain a natural habitat that is suitable for Lasioglossum nursei and other native insect pollinators to ensure successful survival of these important insects in almond orchards which contribute significantly to fruit set. Moreover, pesticide application should be avoided at time of full bloom.