Toxicity of nectar of tea (Camellia thea L.) to honeybees

publication date: Jul 28, 2011
Send a summary of this page to someone via email.
Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 25 (2) pp. 106-108
Date
June 1986
Article Title

Toxicity of nectar of tea (Camellia thea L.) to honeybees

Author(s)

O. P. Sharma, Desh Raj And Rajesh Garg

Abstract

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies at Darang, India, have suffered brood mortality in October, when tea bushes are in flower, in each year since 1977. Three colonies (4- 5 combs each) were established on empty combs in October 1983, and given one comb of healthy brood and combs containing fresh nectar taken from Darang colonies. It was established by pollen analysis of nectar taken from foragers that the nectar was tea nectar. Symptoms of poisoning appeared in all colonies within 2-3 days; larvae turned yellow and died, emitting a rancid odour. Larvae which were fed on tea nectar in the laboratory showed similar symptoms, whereas larvae fed with diluted nectar taken from healthy colonies developed normally. There were no apparent harmful effects on adults. It is concluded that the presence of poorly managed small tea estates in the foot-hills of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas renders the area unsuitable for A. mellifera colonies in autumn.

Keywords

nectar, Camellia thea L., Pollen analysis, toxicity

Full text
pdf
Free to Subcribers button     Buy Now for £5 button