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Path analysis and correlation coefficient of environmental factors influencing foraging behaviour of four honeybee species pollinating litchi flowers (Litchi chinensis Sonn.)
Published March 16, 2004

Honeybee species Apis dorsata F; A. mellifera L; A. cerana F. and A.florea F. were the most important and efficient pollinators of litchi flowers (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) in India. They constituted more than 65% of the total pollinating insects. The ecological threshold for commencement and cessation... of flight activity of each honeybee species varied from one another. In general, 15.5-18.5°C temperature, 600-1700 lx light intensity, 9-20 mW/cm2 solar radiation appeared to be the minimum ecological conditions for commencement of flight activity in Apis species. Cessation of activities in all the honeybee species was governed mainly by decline in values of light intensity and solar radiation irrespective of other factors.

In between commencement and cessation, the activity of all honeybee species followed the same general pattern as temperature (T), light intensity (LI). Solar radiation (SR). Nectar sugar concentration (NSC) and inversely with relative humidity (RH). Path analysis revealed that all the honeybee species differed in their responses to environmental factors prevailing under similar set of conditions depending upon physiological adaptation of each honeybee species. Of all the factors studied; temperature, light intensity and solar radiation were the three important factors whose influence on foraging population was more pronounced.

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