Feeding sugar syrup to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies to increase kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) pollen collection: effects of frequency, quantity and time of day
R M Goodwin; A Ten Houten
Trials were conducted to establish the most appropriate parameters for feeding sugar syrup to honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonie to increase kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.)) pollen collection. All the groups of colonies fed 2 M sugar syrup collected significantly more kiwifruit pollen than the control groups for at least part of each trial. The largest increase in kiwifruit pollen collection was an average of 7.9 times over a whole trial with a maximum daily difference of 43.6 times. Syrup feeding had a smaller effect on the collection of pollen from other flowers around the orchard. Colonies fed one litre of syrup each morning did not collect significantly more kiwifruit pollen than those fed every second morning. Colonies fed every third morning collected significantly less kiwifruit pollen than those fed daily. Colonies fed one litre of sugar syrup at 08.00--09.00 h did not collect significantly more kiwifruit pollen than those fed at 13.00-14.00 h, however those fed in the morning collected significantly more than those fed in the evening (18.00-19.00 h). There was an increase in the amount of kiwifruit pollen collected with increasing quantities of syrup fed. Colonies fed three Iitres of syrup every three days collected significantly more kiwifruit pollen than colonies fed one litre every three days.