Comparative foraging behavior of eastern honeybee, (Apis cerana F) and western honeybee, (Apis mellifera carnica) in pollinating pear and apricot flowers in Taleghan, Iran

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Comparative foraging behavior of eastern honeybee, (Apis cerana F) and western honeybee, (Apis mellifera carnica) in pollinating pear and apricot flowers in Taleghan, Iran

Shakib Vaziritabar, Sirus Oshidari, Sayed Mehdi Esmaeilzade
J. Bio. Env. Sci.7( 2), 136-149, August 2015.
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The Eastern honeybee, (Apis cerana), is indigenous to Asia and is an important pollinator for Asian ecosystems; the Western honeybee, (Apis mellifera), has been introduced to Asia because of its high honey yields. European honeybee, (Apis mellifera carnica) is native to the Iranian continent and is adopting apiaries by the beekeepers in Iran. The results shown that for times of initiation; cessation and duration of foraging activity, duration of foraging trip; and weights of pollen loads, differences between the two honeybee species are significant (P<0.01). The total duration of foraging activity of (Apis cerana F) worker bees is significantly more than those of (Apis mellifera carnica). Apis ceranais a better pollinator than (Apis mellifera carnica) of pear and apricot. For (Apis cerana F), pollen collectors outnumbered nectar collectors throughout the day on both pear and apricot, whereas for (Apis mellifera carnica) pollen collectors outnumbered nectar collectors in the morning and in the afternoon nectar collectors outnumbered pollen collectors on both pear and apricot. (P:N) ratio was significantly higher for (Apis cerana F) throughout the day than (Apis mellifera carnica). Therefore, Apis cerana could strongly influence plant pollination in study area. Results obtained from foraging behavior indicate the top talent of this species for rearing compared with (Apis mellifera carnica) species in this context. Also pear and apricot are among plants that well pollinate with these bees. Thus, we propose that (Apis cerana F) can contribute to the colony pollination service and could be used in apiaries in Taleghan region.


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