Avinash Kaur, V. K. Mattu
Abstract: Most of the flowering plants are pollinated by insects and many insects are specific to certain species of plants. Honey bees, on the other hand have no such restriction of pollen and nectar. There are at least four hundred species of plants which are either major or minor sources of pollen and nectar to Indian hive bee, Apis cerana F. It is obvious that all the plant species are not available in any one locality and a given plant species may also show variations in its utility to bees in different localities or during different years. Information on the utility of each of these plants species, its distribution, abundance and preferences for any climate or soil etc. is of great importance to beekeepers. Therefore, melissopalynological studies were conducted on twelve honey samples and pollen loads collected from different localities of Shiwalik hills. Analysis of pollen types in honey was carried using standard methods of melissopalynology. These investigations revealed that predominant sporomorphs were Brassica sp., Raphanus sp., Murraya sp., Eucalyptus sp. etc. whereas, calendula sp., Mangifera sp, Eruca sp., Trifolium sp., Woodfordia sp.. Psidium sp., Grewia sp., Phoenix sp., Hibiscus sp., Syzygium sp., Melia sp., Grewia sp., Acacia sp., Adhatoda sp., Citrus sp., Azadirachta sp. etc. were secondary pollen types. The important minor and minor pollen components represented in these honey samples were Acacia sp., Adhatoda sp., Ageratum sp., Allium sp., Bauhinia sp., Berberis sp., Bidens sp., Callistemon sp., Carissa sp., Cassia sp., Chenopodium sp., Dalbergia sp., Dianthus sp., Gossypium sp., Grevillea sp., Grewia sp., Helianthus sp., Lagerstroemia sp., Lilium sp., Medicago sp., Murraya sp., Rubus sp., Salvia sp., Sapindus sp., Syzygium sp., Zea sp., Zizyphus sp., Bauhinia sp., Cestrum sp., Citrus sp., Litchi sp., Raphanus sp. Bombax sp., Embilica sp., Pisum sp., Rosa sp., Woodfordia sp. Aegle sp., Albizzia sp., Berberis sp., Calendula sp., Cedrella sp., Dianthus sp., Leucaena sp., Ocimum sp., Pisum sp., Polygonum sp., Punica sp., Ricinus sp., Robinia sp., Taraxacum sp., Sonchus sp., Syzygium sp., Vitis sp., Bombax sp., Litchi sp and members of families Boraginaceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Meliaceae, Asteraceae, Cucurbitaceae Myrtaceae Acanthaceae, Apiaceae, Apocynaceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Cannabinaceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Papaveraceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae, Sapindaceae and Rutaceae. Most of the honey samples had pollen of entomophilous plants with a small percentage of anemophilous types. These investigations also revealed both uniflorality and multiflorality in different honey samples. On the basis of present melissopalynological and bee botanical investigations, a floral calendar of honey plant resources of Shiwalik hills indicating their taxonomic status, geographic location, honey potentiality, periods of flowering and economic uses has been prepared. Present studies thus suggest that this region offers very rich potential for the development of beekeeping due to the multiplicity of bee flora available throughout the year. Such investigations can be helpful in setting up new apiaries, in migratory beekeeping practices and application of modern bee management technology.
Keywords: Beekeeping, Honey, Melissopalynology, Pollen, Nectar, Bee pasturase