The effect of the availability of bee forage plants and environmental conditions on the nesting of Apis dorsata Fabr.
Ramesh P Singh, Akhilesh K Singh, and Rudra P Singh
Nesting of Apis dorsata Fabr. was influenced by the availability of forage plants and prevailing temperatures. There was an assured nectar and pollen supply during October to June through the flowering of more than twenty nectariferous plants, major ones being: Brassica campestris; Brassica rapa; Cajanus cajan; Moringa oleifera; Bombax ceiba; Helianthus annuus; Syzygium cumini; Emblica officinalis and Pongamia pinnata. The total numbers of nesting colonies were 28 in November and four in June coinciding with abundant food and optimum temperature in the first half and a decline later on. The greatest number of nests (35) was observed in January, at semi protected (32) and unprotected (3) sites, when minimum and maximum average temperatures were 7.8 and 24.2°C, respectively. The numbers of bee colonies at such sites in June, when the minimum and maximum temperatures were 26.8 and 33.7°C declined to four and none, respectively. May and June maximum temperature ranged between 40 to 45°C during daylight hours, and average temperature was about 11.4°C higher than November. However, in 2000, the highest number of colonies (33 and 35), was observed in January when temperature was the lowest (5.8-7.8°C).
Apis dorsata, food source, nesting, foraging plants, nectar, pollen, temperature