Ventilation of greenhouses increases honey bee foraging activity on melon, Cucumis melo

publication date: Mar 19, 2010
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 38 (3-4) pp. 169-175
Date
December 1999
 
Article Title

Ventilation of greenhouses increases honey bee foraging activity on melon, Cucumis melo

Author(s)

A Dag; D Eisikowitch

Abstract
Melons are grown in Israel in ‘walk-through' tunnel greenhouses. We compared honey bee (Apis mellifera) foraging activity and melon nectar characteristics in well-ventilated and in closed greenhouses. Foraging activity in the open greenhouses was two- to five-fold greater than that in the closed greenhouses. This higher activity could be explained by higher flower attractivity due to a higher nectar sugar concentration both in hermaphroditic flowers and male flowers. The higher sugar concentration in the open, ventilated greenhouses was probably as a result of the relatively lower humidity there. The greater foraging activity in the open greenhouses also may have been due to lower air temperatures and better accessibility for the bees. It seems that greenhouse ventilation can improve honey bee pollination activity in melon and probably other greenhouse crops as well.
Keywords

honey bees, Apis mellifera, pollination, melon, Cucumis melo, greenhouses, ventilation, temperature, humidity, nectar, Israel

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