Diversity, abundance and foraging behaviour of pollinators in early sown rapeseed-mustard genotypes
Keywords:Nectar, genotypes, honey bees, rapeseed-mustard
A study was carried out on the diversity, abundance and foraging behaviour of pollinators in early sown rapeseed-mustard genotypes through observing a total of 17 insect species visited flowers of early sown genotypes viz., 9 Hymenopterans, 3 Dipterans, 4 Lepidopterans, and 1 Coleopteran. The abundance (bees/m2/5 min) of A. florea was highest (8.5) followed by A. mellifera (3.9), A. dorsata (3.6) and A. cerana (3.1). The abundance of bee species was maximum (5.6 bees/m2/5 min) in genotypes TH 68 and SANGAM. A. cerana foraged a maximum number of flowers per minute (18.20) followed by A. dorsata (17.57), A. mellifera (17.32) and A. florea (6.45). The foraging rate (flowers/min) of all bee species was maximum (14.98 and 14.90) in genotypes TH 68 and SANGAM. Time spent per flower (sec) was maximum (5.3) by A. florea followed by A. dorsata (1.7), A. mellifera (1.6) and A. cerana indica (1.3). The maximum time spent per flower by all bee species (2.6) was in genotype PDZ 9. Nectar or pollen gatherers were maximum in A. dorsata (37.8% and 25.6%, respectively), while both nectar and pollen gatherers were maximum in A. cerana (45.3%). Nectar foraging, pollen foraging and both nectar and pollen foraging were maximum at peak flowering (36.0%), peak flowering (23.8%) and flowering cessation (42.9%), respectively. Out of the total foragers, top workers were maximum in A. dorsata (97.8%), while side workers were maximum in A. florea (41.0%).
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