The influence of hive location on honeybee foraging activity and fruit set in melons grown in plastic greenhousesA. Dag and D. Eisikowitch
Department of Botany, The George S Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, PO Box 39040, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Abstract - Melon (Cucumis melo L) is a very important winter crop in Israel, especially in the extremely hot Arava Valley. The melons are grown in 120 m long plastic tunnels, which creates problems in terms of pollination. Because of local southern windstorms, the long plastic tunnels can only be oriented in one direction, from north to south. Beekeepers disagree as to the best site to locate the bee hives. Observation of bee foraging behavior and analysis of wind direction in the experimental plots revealed that placing hives at the northern end of the tunnel allows for higher bee activity in the morning. This results in a higher yield compared with that obtained when hives are located at the southern end of the tunnel.
Key words: Apis mellifera / Cucumis melo / greenhouse / pollination / wind direction