Pattern of nectar secretion in wild cherry, Prunus puddum Roxb, and the associated foraging behaviour of Apis cerana indica F and Apis mellifera LJ.K. Gupta, M.C.M. Reddy and J. Kumar
Department of Entomology and Apiculture, University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni 173 230, Solan, India
Abstract - Nectar sugar production per flower of Prunus puddum (during 8 h of flower opening) was 4·15 mg, when the nectar was removed at short intervals, compared to 1·89 mg/flower in flowers of the same age where nectar was allowed to accumulate. Similarly, nectar removal every 24 h after flower opening resulted in more nectar sugar production. Flowers where nectar was allowed to accumulate resorbed nectar. Analysis of nectar revealed the presence of glucose, fructose, sucrose and 1 unidentified sugar. Honeybees (Apis cerana indica and A mellifera) foraged both for nectar and pollen on the flowers. The activity of pollen gatherers peaked during early morning hours (8-9 h) and that of nectar gatherers at 11 h. A mellifera spent more time per flower than Ac indica, whether foraging for nectar or pollen. Honeybees preferred 24- and 48-h old flowers to freshly opened flowers or those older than 48 h.
Key words: Apis mellifera / Apis cerana indica / foraging behaviour / Prunus puddum / nectar secretion