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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
77-82.

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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Comparison of honeybee behaviour in blooming fruit plantations
Published July 26, 2012
147-151.

Field observations were made on the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybee foragers in commercial fruit plantations of apricot, Japanese plums, sour cherry, apple and pear. The number of inspected cultivars was 18. The intensity of fl ower visiting by honey bees was markedly different when data of different fruit species are compared. Most inte...nse bee activity was registered on the Japanese plums, somewhat less on apricots, the intensity diminished signifi cantly with apples and pears. Our data presented on the honeybee visitation of Japanese plums can be regarded as new fi nding because no information has been available so far on the relative attractiveness of this fruit species compared to European fruit tree species. Japanese plums were somewhat more attractive to honeybees than apricot and much more attractive than sour cherry, apple and pear. The behaviour of honeybees as visiting the blooming trees displayed specifi c differences according to the fruit species (apricot, sour cherry, pear), which coincide largely with earlier results. It is notable that the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybees on Japanese plums has been found to be fairly similar to the same on European plums.

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106
117
The effect of spring frosts on the nectar production and the bee visitation of fruit trees
Published February 23, 2000
86-89.

Fruit tree species suffered very strong spring frosts in 1997 in Hungary. This caused partial or total damages at buds and flowers depending on site and time of blooming. It was demonstrated at a number of experiments that frost and cold weather also strongly affected the nectar production of surviving flowers. No or very little amount of necta...r was measured in flowers first of all of early blooming fruit tree species (apricot) but also of pear and apple in some places. In spite of this fact intensive honeybee visitation was detected in the flowers of fruit trees that suffered partial frost damage only at those sites where honeybee colonies were placed in or at the experimental plantations and the lack of sufficient amount of nectar did not affected bee behaviour seriously on fruit flowers. This means that bad nectar production failed to affect bee visitation of fruit trees definitely. The reason for this was the fact that not only fruit trees but another early bee plants (wild plants, too) suffered frost damage. Accordingly, in lack of forage bees intensively searched for food at blooming fruit trees with some living flowers. Consequently, there was an acceptable yield at those plantations where bud and flower damage was not complete. Accordingly, intensive bee visitation (that is moving additional bee colonies to overpopulate fruit orchards with honeybees) can be an effective tool to decrease or eliminate the detrimental effect of spring frost on the yield of fruit trees where bud or fruit damage is not too high.

 

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Overwintering capability and spring population size of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera L.) in Hungary
Published June 6, 2000
153-156.

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.

 

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76
128
The effect of the limitation of insect pollination period on the fruit set and yield of quince cultivars (Cydonia oblonga Mill.)
Published June 6, 2000
103-108.

The effect of the partial and/or complete limitation of the insect (bee) pollination period was studied in three consecutive years at 6 quince cultivars. Quince is greatly sensitive to the limitation. Complete limitation of insect pollination resulted in no yield and also a partial limitation of the insect pollination period (exclusion of the b...ees at the first or at the second half of the blooming) depressed the final set and the yield by 60-70% at least or more, sometimes down to no yield. No real correlation was found between the mean mass of fruits and the fruit set. The mass of fruit seems to be rather a character of the cultivars. A loose but significant correlation was established between the intensity of honeybee visitation and the consequent yield of quince. As much as some 4-5 and 8-10 honeybee visits are needed a day on one flower to achieve the required optimal fruit set that has been declared to be 20-25% for quince in the literature. These are extremely high bee visitation figures, accordingly, no doubt the commercial quince plantations require much higher number of honeybee colonies than other temperate zone fruit tree species to supplementary pollination

 

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93
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Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation at the flowers of quince cultivars (Cydonia oblonga Mill.)
Published June 6, 2000
95-102.

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.

 

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A review of the bee pollination research on temperate zone crop plants in the past decade: results and the need of further studies
Published August 14, 2002
7-23.

Intense research was made on the pollination of cultivated crop plants in the temperate zone region during the past decade. Some 400 publications appeared on the subject and some additional 150 papers on the effect of pesticides to the most important pollinating insects, the honeybee and the wild bees. Progress of knowledge is discussed in this... paper based on the most important publications. Most new results relate to field crops and deciduous fruit species and much less to field vegetables and small fruits. Great effort was taken to improve insect pollination of crops grown under cover. All these are connected to the utilization of the honeybee as a pollinating agent and much less to native or managed wild bees. However, a number of questions arose partly from the results of latest pollination research and partly from practical experiences in commercial plant production. These indicate several research tasks to understand and to solve the problems possibly in the near future. The questions concentrate on the effectiveness of bee visits in the pollination of individual crop plants and their different cultivars and on the reliable estimate of the overall amount of bees as well as on the control of bee density during the flowering periods of crops for optimal, controlled pollination in the changing environment of agricultural crop production.

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Flower visiting activity of honeybees on fruit species blooming subsequently
Published March 21, 2001
12-16.

In the small demonstration orchard of the College Faculty of Horticulture at Kecskemét the blooming time, the flower density and the honeybee activity was observed at a number of cultivars of 20 flower species during four consecutive years.

Fruit crop species were in flower during 3-4 months altogether. The blooming period of them was ...classified into five groups as early (almond, apricot, gooseberry), middle early (sweet cherry, red currant, currant-gooseberry, black currant, white currant, peach, plum, sour cherry), middle late (pear, strawberry, apple), late (black elder, quince, medlar, raspberry, blackberry-raspberry) and very late blooming period (blackberry). The blooming period of the members of the groups of early and medium early blooming often coincided partly and the same happened between the medium and the medium late as well as between fruits of late and very late flowering.

The flower density of some fruit species is extremely variable (currant-gooseberry, medlar), while at others it is fairly stable and evenly dense in consecutive years (sour cherry, sweet cherry, strawberry). At other fruit species it is moderately changeable. Some fruit species tended to attract more honeybees than others (plum, apple, quince, medlar) and some of them tended to attract much less (black elder, pear) but most species can be regarded as of medium attractivity.

On the flowers of some fruit species (pear, strawberry, quince) honeybees gathered pollen predominantly. At most fruit species however pollen and nectar gathering behaviour seemed to be gradually changing during the season. Namely most honeybees tended to gather pollen at the flowers of the early blooming fruit species, but on the other hand typical foraging behaviour gradually shifted to nectar gathering at the flowers of fruit species of moderate and late blooming periods.

 

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The effect of nectar production to the gathering behaviour of honeybees and to the foraging activity of wild bees at apple flowers
Published April 19, 2006
45-57.

Intensity of bee visitation (honeybees and wild bees), foraging behaviour of honeybees and nectar parameters (nectar production, sugar concentration, sugar content in nectars) were inspected at 18 apple cultivars for three consecutive years. Honeybee visitation was calculated to be some 3.07 bee visits at a single apple flower a day but wild be...e activity was very low, only some 0.11 wild bee visits per flower per day.

The nectar production (nectar content) of apple flowers was fairly different according to the cultivars and the nectar production (nectar content) of flowers was negatively correlated with the sugar concentration in nectar. Interestingly, at the majority of the inspected 18 cultivars the nectar production has shown minor or no changes in the morning and at the afternoon. The nectar production (nectar content) of flowers clearly encouraged the total bee activity at the inspected cultivars (r = 0.54). Bees visited abundant nectars with greater sugar concentration most intensely than lees abundant nectars with smaller sugar concentration.

Nectar parameters, however, affected the activity of honeybees with different types of gathering behaviour in different way. More intense activity by pollen gatherer and mixed behaviour honeybees was observed at cultivars producing abundant nectar (pollen gatherers: r = 0.65, mixed behaviour: r = 0.79). The activity of pollen gatherer honeybees and of mixed behaviour bees, on the other hand, was negatively correlated to the sugar concentration in nectar (pollen gatherers: r = -0.51, mixed behaviour: r = -0.73). This can be explained by the fact that their behaviour was much more affected by the amount of pollen than by any nectar parameters. Accordingly, "mixed behaviour honeybees" should probably rather be called as "pollen gatherers with nectar load" instead of "nectar gatherers with pollen load", as widely used in literature. The activity of ineffective side worker nectar gatherers was greatly encouraged by the sugar concentration in nectar (p = 0.63), similarly to the pure (top) nectar gatherer honeybees (r = 0.72). There was a negative relationship between the nectar production (nectar content) of flowers and the activity of these behaviour classes (nectar gatherers: r = -0.47, side workers: r = -0.36).

Concluding the findings we can state that the activity of pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour honeybees is strongly encouraged by greater nectar production (greater nectar content) of apple flowers. Their activity, however, is mostly dependent firstly on the amount of pollen. This is the reason why the sugar concentration is in a negative relationship to the activity of pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bee. On the other hand, pure nectar gatherers and side worker nectar gatherers are greatly encouraged by the sugar concentration of apple nectar the amount of nectar was not a definite influence on their activity.

Side worker honeybees occurred at each cultivar inspected, however, their ratio varied widely among cultivars. So we can draw the conclusion that, in contradiction with earlier believes, side worker nectar gathering is a general phenomenon at apple flowers. The activity of side workers depends first of all on the relative position of stamens and petals; however, low sugar concentration of nectars can probably moderate their activity but probably do not affect pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees.

Wild bee visitation was very low; the wild bee species observed (Osmia cornuta, Andrena flavipes, Anthophora acervorum, Bombus terrestris, Bombus lapidarius and Halictus simplex) comprised some 3.44 per cent of the total bee visitation at apple flowers only. Wild bee visitation was in a positive correlation with the nectar production (nectar amount) of flowers (r = 0,4) and with the sugar content of nectar (r = 0.46) but it was negatively correlated with the sugar concentration in nectar (r = -0,27).

Our result calls the attention to the importance of nectar parameters in the effective honeybee pollination of apple plantations. Most effective pollinating activity of honeybees can be expected in plantations with cultivars of high nectar production because this feature seem so encourage the activity of those behaviour classes (pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees) that are the most effective pollinating agents among honeybees.

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Effect of intensity of bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees on the fruit set and yield of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.)
Published March 14, 2005
31-39.

Based on the results of our experiments, both the relative and the effective intensity of bee visitation were rather different depending on the cultivars as well as the time of the day. While it varied between relatively extreme values (40-80%) in the morning for the varieties examined, there were much smaller differences between the intensity ...of bee visitation at the afternoon, because the relative bee visitation attained 70-90% at each cultivar. These results showed that the differences arising from intensity of bee visitation of different cultivars should be taken into consideration more carefully in the morning in orchard planning and in estimating the number of honeybee colonies required.

The results showed that the greatest percentage of fruit set and the highest number of viable seeds per fruit were measured on branches of those cultivars that were most frequently visited by pure pollen gatherer bees as well as by bees collecting both nectar and pollen (mixed behaviour). The effect of pure pollen gatherers and of bees with mixed behaviour was highly significant from the statistical point of view on the fruit set and the number of viable seeds per fruit.

Those bees that were sucking nectar only from apple flowers did not proved to be effective pollinators at all. Relationship between their number and the fruit set as well as the number of viable seed per fruit were not significant because the coefficient of correlation was close to nil.

The ratio of side worker nectar gatherers was negatively correlated with the fruit set and the seed content of fruits of apple cultivars examined at both of our experimental sites, at Mosonmagyaróvár and Feketeerdő as well. The presence of side worker nectar gatherers resulted in higher decrease of fruit set and seed content of fruits at Feketeerd6 than at Mosonmagyaróvár, especially in the morning.

The effect of flower visiting intensity by other pollinating insects was found to be fairly variable according to the time of the day. In the morning they had no effect on the fruit set as well as on the seed content of fruits either at Mosonmagyaróvár or at Feketeerdo. However, at the afternoon, when their intensity was greater, the correlation was a bit stronger.

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Application of pollen mixing device in front of the hive entrance
Published June 6, 2000
151-152.

The model of a pollen mixing device was tested in sunflower culture in order to detect the effectiveness in helping the out-going honey bees to carry more and different varieties of pollen grains on the body and body hairs. This model is build from line hairs of brushes facing each other that can keep and release pollen grains. The brushes are ...functioning as pollen receiver-transmitter units. The effectiveness was tested by examining the number and the species of the pollen grains adhered to the bees passing through the entrance. The amount of pollen and the number of pollen species on the hive with the device was significantly higher than on the control hive.

The data were analysed by variance analysis and significant differences were found according to the number and species of pollen grains between the incoming and outgoing bees.

 

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89
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Path coefficient analysis of environmental factors influencing flight activity of Apis florea F. and seed yield in carrot (Daucus carota L.)
Published March 16, 2004
87-92.

Foraging ecology of insect pollinators visiting carrot flowers (Daucus carota L.) was studied in relation to five environmental variables. The dwarf honeybee, Apis florea L., was the most abundant flower visitors and comprised more than 94% of the total flower visiting insects. Commencement of flight activity occurred when a m...inimum threshold of environmental variables was surpassed while the cessation was governed mainly by decline in values of light intensity and radiation. In between the commencement and cessation, the foraging population correlated significantly and positively with air temperature, light intensity, solar radiation and nectar-sugar concentration and negatively with relative humidity. Path coefficient analysis, however, revealed that direct effect of temperature was high and positive followed by light intensity and solar radiation while the direct effect of relative humidity was high and negative. The direct effect of nectar-sugar concentration was negative and negligible. Evidently, path coefficient analysis gave a more clear picture of effects than did the simple correlation analysis. Apis florea on an average visited 1.14+0.23 and 22.78+2.57 umbels and flowers/min, respectively during different hours of the day. Furthermore, the insect pollinated plots produced significantly more seeds with heavier weights than those isolated from insect visits.

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Differences of pollen and pollenkitt attractiveness of some cultivated and ornamental apples for honeybees
Published June 6, 2000
145-150.

Differences in the attractiveness of pollen according to plant families and species for the honeybees had been examined by researchers, but pollen samples of cultivars were not tested yet. This examination attempts to evalu2te the differences in attractiveness of pollen of some cultivated and ornamental apples to honeybees. We applied biotest w...ith equal amounts of hand collected pollen samples and by a nucleus of bees with brood. The evaluation was based on the number of visitation by foraging honeybees on the samples during the time of the experiment which was determined. Pollenkitt samples were also tested in a separate experiment.

The data were analysed by variance analysis and significant differences were found according to the number of bee visitation in the attractiveness of the pollen and pollenkitt samples of apple cultivars.

The visualisation of pollenkitt was done by light microscope and SEM.

 

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Changes in Some Quality Criteria During Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage of Peaches
Published March 21, 2001
58-61.

Intensive research has been implemented on different aspects of the bee pollination of pear in Hungary in the past decade, extending to the following topics: the effect of the opening sequence of the flowers within the inflorescence of pear cultivars on the effectiveness of bee pollination; the nectar production of flowers of pear cultivars; in...tensity of honeybee visitation and their foraging behaviour at the flowers of pear cultivars; flower constancy of honeybees to pear plantations; competition by weeds in bloom for bee pollination in flowering pear orchards; and some aspects to the bee pollination strategies of pear plantations (the effect of the limitation of bee pollination period on the set and the yield, possible compensation of frost damage of flowers by bee pollination in pear orchards, the optimal size of single cultivar block in pear plantations). The results of these studies are reviewed in this paper and some important aspects that need further studies are outlined.

 

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Some flower characters, variety features and environmental effects affecting bee pollination of pear (Pyrus communis L.): a review of the results of latest research
Published June 6, 2000
59-66.

Intensive research has been implemented on different aspects of the bee pollination of pear in Hungary in the past decade, extending to the following topics: the effect of the opening sequence of the flowers within the inflorescence of pear cultivars on the effectiveness of bee pollination; the nectar production of flowers of pear cultivars; in...tensity of honeybee visitation and their foraging behaviour at the flowers of pear cultivars; flower constancy of honeybees to pear plantations; competition by weeds in bloom for bee pollination in flowering pear orchards; and some aspects to the bee pollination strategies of pear plantations (the effect of the limitation of bee pollination period on the set and the yield, possible compensation of frost damage of flowers by bee pollination in pear orchards, the optimal size of single cultivar block in pear plantations). The results of these studies are reviewed in this paper and some important aspects that need further studies are outlined.

 

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