African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Pollination activity and foraging behavior of local honeybee (Apis mellifera) under open and caged conditions in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia

Haftom Gebremedhn
  • Haftom Gebremedhn
  • Apiculture and Sericulture Case Team, Mekelle Agricultural Research Center, Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, P. O. Box 492, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 03 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 29 October 2015
  •  Published: 17 August 2017

Abstract

Locally there is cultivation of vegetables in greenhouse as a production system; however, it is not common to use honeybee as pollinators. This might be due to a fear of low pollination efficiency or activity of local bees under caged condition. Moreover there is no research related to the foraging behavior of local honeybee under caged condition. Hence, this investigation was designed to study foraging behavior of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and their pollination efficiency under managed condition. Pollination efficiency of the local bees was determined by comparing the seed yield and quality of self-pollinated crops with crops caged with honeybee. This was done during the blooming time of Guzzotia abyssinica. Data related to foraging behavior and seed yield and quality was analyzed using repeated measure analysis of variance and t-test, respectively using Genstat 14th version statistical software. Crops caged with honeybee had higher yield (200.3 g) compared to crops prevented from insect pollinators (115.2 g).The highest foraging rate of bees was recorded at 14:30-15:30pm (12.02 flowers /five minute), while the lowest foraging rate was recorded at 8:30-9:30am (8.15 flowers/five minute). The overall foraging trend of bees was similar under caged and open conditions. Finally, the use of local honeybees' pollination under managed condition was recommended for improving the seed yield and quality of G. abyssinica seeds.

 

Key words: Caged, foraging, honeybee, pollination.