The toxicity of spinosad to adult female bees tended to be least to the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) (LD50 = 0.078 pg/bee), intermediate to the alkali bee (Nomia melanderi) (0.065 pg/bee), and greatest to the alfalfa leafcutter bee (Megachile rotundata (F.)) (0.058 pg/bee), both in topical drop te...sts and in tests involving spinosad residues on alfalfa (Medicago sativa) foliage. For the calculated LD50 pg/g, the honey bee (LD50 = 0.612 pg/g) was the most susceptible followed by the alkali bee (0.773 pg/g) and the leafcutter bee (1.908 pg/g). The honey bee oral LD50 was 0.063 pg/bee and the calculated LD50 0.492 pg/g. Adding an adjuvant to spinosad sprays did not change the toxicity of spinosad to bees in residue bioassay studies. Spinosad at as high as 500 ppm in feeders containing a sucrose/honey syrup caused no significant reduction in honey bee visitation or total syrup consumed.
Fungicides fosetyl-AL, triadimefon, dodine, mycobutanil and fenarimol were tested for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) mortality and effect on bee foraging, pollen viability and fruit set in blooming apple and pear. None of the materials were toxic to honey bees or reduced pollen gemination or fruit set.
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.
Honeybee races and ecotypes of different genetic background have different population development in spring. Some of them can reach the necessary population size by the beginning of Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) blooming period. There were significant differences in the spring population development between the colonies of differ...ent genetic background. The Italian races (A. m. ligustica) and their cross-breeds over-wintered poorly in Hungary, their spring population was low and they collected small amount of Robinia honey. The Austrian improved Carniolan (A. m. carnica) colonies over-wintered well, they had the largest spring population in both years. There was no significant difference between the size of the spring population of the same colonies of different genetic background in 1995 and 1996. The rate of the population development of the colonies was different in the two examined years. There was strong correlation (r = 0.8) between the spring population size and the Robinia honey yield, and between the mid-April population size and the Robinia honey yield of the colony groups of different genetic background. Spring population size also important in the effective pollination of fruit tree species that bloom earlier than the black locust trees.
Studies were made on the bee visitation of 6 quince cultivars and on the foraging behaviour of honeybees at quince flowers for 3 consecutive years. The bee visitation was highly intense because both the plantation and its surrounding was overpopulated by honeybee colonies. Some 5.5 bee visits were counted in average at 50 opening quince flowers... in 10 minutes and some 9.7 flowers were visited of the 50 ones observed meanwhile. This equals some 7 bee visits per flower per day per in good weather. Bee visitation, however, was variable and it was greatly different in the three consecutive years with fairly favourable weather. Some cultivars tended to be more and others less visited by honeybees than the others but these differences were not consequent at each occasion. No consequent relationship between the weather and the bee visitation of quince trees could be recognised. It was concluded that .other factors were responsible for the variable nature of the bee activity at quince. Most honeybees tended to collect pollen (51.6% in average for the 3 years) and usually much less gathered for nectar only (19.9%), and the rest of them were mixed behaviour foragers gathering for both (28.5%). There were some slight differences in the foraging behaviour of honeybees at some cultivars but these differences were not always consequent in consecutive years. Also the nectar production of flowers failed to affect the bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees definitely. For the variable nature of bee visitation and bee behaviour at quince flowers, supplementary pollination is needed to achieve as high set of fruits as high is required to a good crop at quince (at least 20-25% because the flower density is low of this fruit tree species). Since the intensity of bee visitation at the flowers is the only reliable estimate of the necessity of supplementary bee pollination further research is needed to explore the relationship between the number of honeybee visits and the consequent fruit set at quince.
Studies were made on the composition of pollen loads of honeybees captured at the flowers of blooming pear trees in pear plantations. Also the foraging behaviour of honeybees was observed. Overwhelming majority of honeybees visiting the flowers of 13 pear cultivars in 1996 were pollen gatherers (95.6 per cent). Proportion of pure nectar gathere...rs was as low as some 3.7 per cent and no more than 0.7 per cent performed mixed behaviour. The analysis of pollen loads of bees collected at pear flowers in blooming pear plantations showed that fidelity was as high as 89-90 per cent towards pear, higher than for another fruit species in other studies. Even those plant species that are regarded to be strong competitors of blooming fruit trees in the literature (Taraxacum officinale, Stellaria media, Lamium purpureum) were scarcely represented in the loads. Accordingly, honeybees can be much more important and more effective pollinating agents of pear cultivars than generally believed.