Observations were made during 2011 and 2012 to record the floral hosts of Asian giant honeybee, Apisdorsata (Hymenoptera: Apidae) by following standard methods at arid, semi-arid and malnad regions of southern Karnataka, India. These regions are enriched with 252 foraging plant species which belong to 74 families with trees (49.3%), herbs (23.5%), shrubs (21.7%) and climbers (5.5%), supplying both pollen and nectar (63%), nectar (17.7%) and pollen (18.9%) source to A. dorsata population during different seasons. The Shanon-Wiener diversity index (H’) showed high species diversity, that is, 3.256 to 3.864, indicating the constant nectar flow with little variations in to A. dorsata population. Since, A. dorsatais a voracious forager, it prefers to survive in the wild and contributes significantly to the pollination of various plants in this region leading to improvement in local vegetation. A. dorsata produces useful hive products to mankind. Knowledge on the floral hosts helps prepare pollen calendar that would reveal plant diversity and their interactions with insect pollinators in an ecosystem. Thus, it is important to conserve both plants and insect pollinators (for example, A. dorsata) to sustain our livelihoods and protect the local biodiversity.
Key words: Floral hosts, pollen calendar, Apisdorsata, southern Karnataka.
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