Exploitation of Rape Flow by Bee Colonies in Stationary and Migratory Apiary

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Summary

The aim of the study conducted in 2009 - 2011 was to estimate the differences in the nectar and pollen oilseed rape flow exploitation by bee colonies kept in the stationary apiary (permanently located on the rape field) and in the migratory apiary. The migratory apiary was transferred to the rape field at the appropriate time and situated on the same area as the stationary apiary. Every study year, 8 bee colonies per apiary, in two apiaries of different types (stationary and migratory apiary), were prepared. The colonies from the migratory apiary were placed on the rape field when about 10% of rape flowers were blooming. During that time, bottom pollen traps were inserted into the hives of both apiaries. The pollen loads were collected every day, separately from each colony. After the end of the flow season, honey was extracted separately from each colony. The honey was weighed and samples were taken for the palynological analysis. The weather conditions were monitored during the whole study period.

The average harvest of pollen loads from one bee colony during one day, was similar in both apiaries. The content of Brassica napus pollen was significantly higher in the pollen loads harvested from the migratory apiary. Despite the fact that the amounts of honey extracted from both apiaries were similar, the microscopic pollen analysis showed significantly higher percentage content of rape pollen in the honey from the migratory apiary. The results confirmed that placing the migratory apiary in the winter rape field at the time when about 10% of flowers were blooming resulted in a better exploitation of the rape flow by the bee colonies from this apiary in comparison to the colonies from the stationary apiary.

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Journal of Apicultural Science

The Journal of Research Institute of Horticulture and Apicultural Research Association

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