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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

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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Nectar production of quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.) cultivars
Published June 6, 2000

Nectar production of six quince cultivars were measured during three consecutive years. The nectar production of quince can be regarded to be small compared to other temperate zone fruit tree species since quince flowers contained 1.07 ± 0.06 mg of nectar in average. The extreme values, however, ranged between 0.1 and 7.3 mg/flower and this in...dicated that the nectar production was highly variable. The distribution of the nectar production was definitely skew because low values were definitely much more frequent than the highest ones. Our findings do not corroborate the earlier statements on the high sugar concentration of quince nectar. We found some 21-27% sugar in average, only. The normal distribution of the sugar concentration also indicates that the typical sugar concentration may be between 20-30%. Accordingly, the sugar concentration of quince nectar is rather low compared to other temperate zone fruit tree species (except pear). There was a significant negative correlation between the amount of nectar and its sugar concentration in quince flowers in all of the three years of the study (r= -0.51, n=37, p<0.02 in 1996, r= -0.57, n=28, p<0.1 in 1997, r= -0.35, n=9 I, p<0.001 in 1998). No definite difference was established between the nectar production of quince cultivars. Nevertheless, one cultivar tended to produce less and two other ones produced somewhat more nectar in average than the rest of the 6 cvs investigated but the extreme values of nectar production of cultivars overlapped in most cages.


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Nectar production of pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivars
Published June 6, 2000

Detailed studies were made on the nectar production of 44, 16 and 18 pear cultivars, respectively, in a cultivar collection of pear during three consecutive years with highly different weather in the blooming. Results clearly show that pear does not necessarily produce small amount of nectar as stated in the world literature. In fact, pear can ...produce extremely high amount of nectar sometimes much higher than other temperate zone fruit trees species but its nectar production is highly subjected to weather, first of all to air temperature. Low nectar production seems to be more frequent than high one and cold weather can prevent its nectar production at all. On the other hand, results corroborate to the earlier statements on the low sugar concentration of pear nectar. There is a highly significant negative correlation between the amount of nectar produced by pear flowers and its sugar concentration (r = -0.52, n = 291, p< 0.001 for 1996, r = -0.34, n = 197, p< 0.001 for 1998). Sugar concentration in individual flowers may be up, to 40% in exceptional cases but generally it is well below 20%. Very high figures for sugar concentration in pear nectar at the literature seem to be incomprehensible. In contrast of some earlier statement in the literature no real difference could be established in the nectar production of pear cultivars, based on much more measurements than in earlier studies. Very low sugar concentration in pear nectar can explain the fact that the overwhelming majority of honeybees are pollen gatherers at pear trees even in the case of exceptionally high nectar production.


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Carbohydrate utilization of Erwinia amylovora in vitro
Published May 10, 2004

Nectar is a multi-component aqueous solution that promotes bacterial multiplication. The concentration of nectar in plant flowers is not stable since it is under the influence of environmental conditions, especially free moisture and relative humidity. Experiments were conducted with "artificial nectar" and directed along two lines: (1) determi...nation of the optimal concentrations of carbohydrates for the growth of E. amylovora development (2) consumption of different carbohydrates besides basic sugars.

Solutions of "artificial nectar" were prepared in different compositions by changing the dominance of basic sugars (fructose — glucose —sucrose) in proportions of 2:1:1, 1:2:1, 1:1:2 and between concentrations of 10-0.6% (diluted with Basal minimum broth) in order to determine optimal conditions for the development of E. amylovora.

At a basic sugar concentration of 10% bacterial multiplication started and continued until I log degree (from 106 to 107 cfu/ml). At concentrations of 5% and 2,5 % cells developed with nearly the same kinetics (from 106 to 8x107 cfu/ml and from 106 to 9x107 cfu/ml, respectively). Multiplication was more pronounced and nearly the same at concentrations of 1.2 % and 0.6 % (from106 to 2x108 cfu/ml). At a basic sugar concentration 30% total sugars bacterial multiplication did not occur, while at 20 % it was negligible, not measurable photometrically.

At minimal concentrations of F, G, S (between 1-0.1 %) bacterial cells were still able to multiply, producing organic acids from sugars.

Our study showed that E. amylovora requires only a small amount of sugars (0.1%) for multiplication (acid production) while high concentrations inhibit multiplication. There was a negative correlation between sugar content and cell density. The optimal range of sugar concentration was at about 1%.

Effect of "less frequent carbohydrates" to E. amylovora multiplication was also determined using the API 50 CH strip. We could provide information on utilization of 39 carbohydrates by the bacterium at different categories as follows: Not utilized-, Slowly and weakly utilized-, Slowly and completely utilized-, Quickly and completely utilized carbohydrates. We suppose that carbohydrates that belong to the latter two groups could play an important role as nectar components in promoting E. amylovora multiplication in the blossoms of pome fruit trees.

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Response of sour cherry cultivar `Érdi jubileum' fruits to modified atmosphere packaging after ethephon spraying
Published March 25, 2009

Sour cherries are not adapted to long storage. The largest percentage of sour cherries reaches the consumer either directly or indirectly through the tin can or the frozen pack. Different concentrations of ethephon usually are used commercially to facilitate harvesting sour cherry fruits that this hormone influences on fruit quality. The object...ive of this study was effect of ethephon preharvest application on sour cherry fruits quality during storage period at modified atmosphere packaging was investigated. Modified atmosphere packaging used with 10, 15 and 75 percent for 02, CO, and N2 respectively that those held at 0 °C. This gas compounds synchronous to 0 °C temperature caused to increase shelf life postharvest of fruits. Fruit samples were evaluated at harvest date and after 6 weeks in storage. Skin fruit colour, pH, total soluble solids, titrateable acidity, sugar/acid ratio, firmness were monitored. Ethephon concentration influenced on total soluble solid, titrateable acidity, sugar/acid ratio and L* value. In more case, 225 ppm ethephon's concentration has no observable different to control samples. Thus, the best ethephon's concentration was 225 ppm ethephon's concentration.

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Evaluation of crop yield and fruit quality in organic apple production
Published March 19, 2007

In this study, crop yield and fruit quality parameters (soluble solid concentration, sugar, total acid, and vitamin C content) of 15 apple cultivars including old, resistant and currently grown cultivars. The highest fruit yield among all 15 cultivars was obtained on CV. Jonagold with 15.5 kg/tree, while the lowest yield was measured on the res...istant cultivar Reanda with 8.1 kg/tree. There were no significant differences among the cultivars in fruit diameter ranging from 70 mm in the case of cv. Húsvéti rozmaring to 82 mm for cv. Mutsu. Values of soluble solids concentration of the cultivars varied between 15.5% for cv. Téli Banán and 19.2% for cv. Renora. Sugar content values showed a similar tendency to soluble solids content. The highest and lowest total sugar content was observed on cvs. Jonagold and Renora and cv. Re­tina with 17% and 12.4%, respectively. Total acid content values ranged between 0.18% and 0.53% for cvs. Jonagold and Remo, respectively. Values of vitamin C content for the 15 apple cultivars varied between 2 mg% and 4 mg% for cv. Retina and cv. Mutsu, respectively.

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Sugar composition of floral nectar in sour cherry cultivars
Published June 6, 2000

The composition of floral nectar in sour cherry cultivars studied in 1997 at Újfehértó was in agreement with our previous data, the three most frequent sugar components being glucose, fructose and sucrose. Nectar secreted at night is generally more diluted than nectar produced during the day. None of the nectar samples produced at night reac...hed the threshold value (100 mg/ml) of bee visitation. In the majority of cultivars the difference in concentration between night and day nectar is not too high, but in two cultivars, 'Korai pipacs' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ the difference is quite significant. Most sucrose was found in the nectar of cvs. 'Érdi jubileum' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’, but a high amount of sucrose was measured also in the flowers of 'Korai pipacs' and 'Meteor USA'. Nectar concentration varies from opening of the flower to petal fall to a smaller or greater degree, depending on the given cultivar. From the 9 sour cherry cultivars studied ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ and Tandy 48' had the most attractive nectar for bees. There was no correlation between nectar composition and free fertilisation. On the basis of nectar composition the majority of the sour cherry cultivars studied can be classified into the sucrose-rich category; only one cultivar, 'Érdi jubileum' had a sucrose-dominant secretory product. The composition of nectar in the studied sour cherry cultivars is preferred by bees.


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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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Flower characters and self-fertilization capacity in relation to the bee pollination at sour cherry cultivars
Published April 19, 2006

Detailed studies and comparisons were carried out on those flower characters of sour cherry cultivars that may affect bee pollination of flowers. Flower characters of sour cherry are fairly similar to other temperate zone fruit tree species. Their relatively small flowers distinguish the Cigánymeggy-types of cultivars from the flowers of tart ...cherries cultivars that are conspicuously larger, almost as large as the sweet cherry flowers. The relative position of flower organs was much more variable according to the season than according to the cultivars. So the differences were rather the consequences of seasonal effects than of variety features of sour cherry cultivars. As far as individual cultivars are concerned differences in the nectar production and the sugar concentration are revealed rather between groups of cultivars than between individual cultivars. The pollen production of flowers was extremely changeable in consecutive years. Most honeybees collected nectar at sour cherry flowers; pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees were half as frequent but differences among the behaviour of honeybees according to cultivars cannot be stated. The fidelity of honeybees to sour cherry is less expressed than to some other fruit tree species. Accordingly, it is very strongly suggested to take the competitive effect other plant species (weeds) flowering in and around the orchard carefully into account when organizing additional bee pollination in sour cherry plantations. Several sour cherry cultivars possess more or less self-fertilization capacity but this is greatly changeable according to the season. It has been proved that self-sterile sour cherry cultivars are sensitive even on the partial restriction of the effective time of bee pollination and it is to be stressed too that even in the case of partly self-fruitful cultivars bee pollination is also vital in yield formation because medium or strong restriction of the effective bee pollination period is of a definite negative effect on their fruit set and yield. In years with unfavourable weather the yield can dramatically be reduced sometimes down to nil. However, very high fruit set is also unfavourable because a negative correlation was detected between the final set and the mean mass of fruits.

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Impact of boron foliar fertilization on annual fluctuation of B in sweet cherry leaves and fruit quality
Published May 19, 2008

The goal of the study was to examine response of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) to boron (B) fertilization. The experiment was conducted during 2005-2007 in West Hungary on mature cv. `Germersdorfi 3' grafted on Prunus mahaleb rootstock.

Sweet cherry trees planted on a calcareous chernozem soil. Tree...s were foliar-fertilized with B. Foliar B sprays were performed: (1) in the spring, at the stage of white bud, beginning of flowering (B1), and (2) repeated 5 weeks after full bloom (B2). In each of spring spray treatments, B was applied at a rate of 0.15 kg ha-I. Trees untreated with B served as a control.

The results showed that B fertilization had effect on B concentration in leaf tissues, mostly after ripening. B was present significantly higher amount in leaf in treated samples after ripening.

Mean fruit weight was slightly increased by B fertilization. Fruit sensitivity to cracking was not influenced by B fertilization. Nevertheless, from our data it can be conclude that the sensitivity of fruit to cracking is improved when the fruit is riper, the fruit density and fruit weight are higher. The soluble solids varied between 15.0 and 15.9% according to the treatments. Our results for the monosaccharides investigated varied between 5.1 and 7.2 as glucose and fructose as well. Galactose and sucrose was detected very small amount in the unprocessed cherries. Applied B treatments increased sugar contents but decreased organic acid contents in sweet cherry fruits.

It is concluded that under conditions of this experiment, B fertilization can be recommended in sweet cherry culture to improve fruit quality and their appearance.

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