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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2005  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 123 - 126

Effects of Foraging Activity of Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) on Onion (Allium cepa) Seed Production and Quality

Banu Yucel and Ibrahim Duman    

Abstract: The effects of honeybee pollination on seed production and quality in onion cultivar valencia were studied in this research. Treatments were applied, plots caged with bees; open plots and other pollinators and plots caged without bees. Twenty colonies were equalized in population strength and maintained by throughout flowering period of the crop. Average seed yield, total seed yield, 1000 seed weight, germination rate, emergence rate, stressful condition emergence rate, mean days to germination, mean days to emergence, stressful condition mean days to emergence were determined in this experiment. Observations on foraging behavior were recorded for the daily initiation, cessation, peak hours of foraging activity, weight of pollen load and number of flowers visited per minute by a bee for determining foraging activity. Results revealed that the seed yield per bulb was higher in open plots (5.74 g/flower) than in caged plots(1.29 g/flower). Total seed yield per plot was 898.95 g/plot in open sided whereas it was 220.65 g/plot in caged groups. Other seed quality characteristics (germination rate, emergence rate, stressful condition emergence rate, stressful condition mean days to emergence) were also considerable higher in open plots than in caged plots. Apis mellifera L. workers foraged on onion plant from 8.15 to 16.30 h with peak foraging between 11.00 and 12.00 h. At 09.00, 12.00 and 15.00 h respectively, workers averaged visited 8.0, 13.0 and 4.0 flowers per minute and collected 8.0, 10.0 and 6.0 mg of pollen. These results approved that utilization of honeybees on onion seed production would effectively increase the seed quality and quantity.

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