University of Khartoum

Ecology, Behaviour And ManagementOf Honeybees With Special ReferenceTo Apis Florea F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae

Ecology, Behaviour And ManagementOf Honeybees With Special ReferenceTo Apis Florea F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae

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Title: Ecology, Behaviour And ManagementOf Honeybees With Special ReferenceTo Apis Florea F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae
Author: Abdalla Mohamed Ali
Abstract: Hundred natural Apis florea colonies were recorded in Shambat (Khartoum State) in an area of 2 km2 during eighteen month period (Jan. 2003 – June 2004). Ecology, behaviour and management of A. florea were investigated in addition to some comparative studies in which Apis mellifera was included. A. florea occupied 22 habitats. The most preferred trees were Phoenix dactylefera, Ficus spp. and Peltophorum petenocarpum. Seventy nine percent of the colonies were recorded at heights between 0-8 m above ground level and twenty one percent at heights above 8 m. The overall mean height was 5.24 m. A. florea visited 60 genera of flowering plants during the year. A. florea preferred the south east sector of the trees for building its comb both during summer and winter. Most of A. florea combs on trees were oriented in the east to west direction during summer and in the south west to north east direction during winter. Twenty colonies of both A. florea and A. mellifera were recorded per 4 ha. The ratio of A. florea to A. mellifera was 9:1. Two diurnal peaks of foraging activity were recorded for A. florea at 10.00 h and 16.00 h during summer and one peak during winter at 14.00 h. A. florea tolerated higher temperature as compared to A. mellifera, but couldn\\\\\\\'t forage below 20°C. A. florea collected water throughout the day during summer with maximum activity at 12.00 h and 16.00 h. A. florea was dominant on rocket and broad bean flowers, but appeared to be less attracted to sunflower as compared to A. mellifera. A. florea increased the number of onion-seeds/head by 7 times, due to its efficient pollination as compared to control plots and improved the viability of seeds (79% germination versus 64%). Caged onion plots (without A. florea) had only 12.7% of their florets with seeds compared with 75.2% for those pollinated by A. florea. Honey production by A. florea ranged between 95 gm and 2 kg with a mean of 462 gm per colony. A. florea swarmed all the year round. However, the main swarming season in Sudan occurred during Dec.-March. Swarms were produced at a mean comb depth of 25 ± 6.7 cm and 17.7 ± 3 cm comb width. A. florea absconded all the year round with peaks during: Jan., March, May, August, Sept. and December. Colonies absconded at a mean of 28.5 ± 3.7 and 21.2 ± 4.6 cm for comb depth and width respectively. A. florea was less aggressive than A. mellifera. Four hiving systems were tested for A. florea colonies. They showed mean settlement periods of: 69.1 ± 18; 67.5 ± 18; 63.1 ± 18 and 33.6 ± 10.9 days for tree branches, shade, A. mellifera-travelling box and guffa shade respectively. There were no significant differences between hives on trees, shade and travelling box. The travelling box proved to be a useful tool for transferring A. florea colonies from one place to another.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/12073
Date: 2015-06-14


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