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Indian Journal of Entomology
Year : 2011, Volume : 73, Issue : 3
First page : ( 241) Last page : ( 243)
Print ISSN : 0367-8288. Online ISSN : 0974-8172.

Performance of Apis mellifera L. colonies in the high hills of Himachal Pradesh

Rana V. K.1,*, Kumar Sunil1

Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kinnaur at Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh-172 107

1Regional Horticultural ' Forestry Research Station, Neri, PO Khaggal, District Hamirpur-171001

* E-mail: vk_renu_uhf@Yahoo.co.in

Online published on 16 May, 2012.

Received:  March,  2011.

Abstract

The wet and dry temperate zone of Himachal Pradesh depends on temperate fruits like apple, pear, cherry, almond and apricot. Due to lack of wild pollinators, orchardists are keeping honey bee colonies in their orchards. The present studies were carried out to find out whether these temperate fruits are helpful to bee colonies in respect of build up and hive gain and whether the bee colonies can be kept throughout the year. The studies were conducted at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kinnaur at Reckong Peo during 2007–2008. For carrying out the studies, 3 Apis mellifera L. colonies (having 8 bee frames each) were kept at the Kendra and were shifted to different bee flora available in district Kinnaur from time to time. The bee strength increased from 8 (February 2007) to 11 (May 2007) frames, owing to the temperate fruit flowering. The bee strength reduced to 6 frames in January 2008. In February 2007, the brood area was 3600 cm2 and reached 4260. 0 cm2, 5275. 0 cm2 and 5904 cm2 in March, April and May 2007, respectively. Brood area decreased after that and picked up again in September 2007 (4670. 0 cm2) and pollen area was at its peak in May (2953. 0 cm2). Bees could not get sufficient honey to be extracted from temperate fruit flowering. But in September-October there was flowering of Plectranthus and this proved very good nectar source. Thus, on an average 5. 0 kg honey was extracted per colony from the bloom of this source. The data recorded on the sugar consumption by honey bees revealed that on an average 11 kg sugar is required per colony per year in this zone and in total 22 sugar feedings (0. 5 kg each) are required per colony for the year.

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Keywords

Apis mellifera, bee strength, brood area, pollen area, honey, sugar feedings and bee flora.

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