Flight intensity of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and its relationship with temperature, sunshine hours, cloudiness and relative humidity
Information on flight intensity of honeybees is important in pollinator management programs. However, the flight intensity of local bees ( Apis mellifera) is poorly known. Investigations into the pattern of activity of various races of A. mellifera, in different parts of the world, reveal a lot of variation. Hence, this study was designed to determine the effect of hours of the day and climatic factors on the flight intensity of local honeybees. The study was conducted at Mekelle Agricultural Research Center and the flight intensity of bees was determined by counting the number of bees leaving and returning to their hive. Counting was done in four colonies which had similar strengths. It was done five times per day at 7:00a.m., 9:30a.m., 12:00a.m., 14:30p.m. and 17:00p.m. Each observation time was considered as a treatment. The collected data were analyzed using GLM repeated measurement analysis procedure.
The peak in the number of bees that exited and returned was recorded at 9:30a.m, while the smallest number of bees that exited and returned was recorded at 7:00a.m. The number of bees that exited and returned had a positive relationship with air temperature and sunshine hours, and a negative association with relative humidity and cloudiness. Hence it is advisable to save honeybees by not applying insecticide to crops at times of day when their flight intensity is highest.
Key words: climatic factors, insecticides, managment, pesticides, pollination
Haftom G, Tadesse A and Belay T 2014: Flight intensity of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and its relationship with temperature, sunshine hours, cloudiness and relative humidity. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 26, Article #11. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd26/1/haft26011.html