J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (11): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00353.x

• Research Articles •    

Nectar and Pollen Sources for Honeybee (Apis cerana cerana Fabr.) in Qinglan Mangrove Area, Hainan Island, China

Yi-Feng Yao, Subir Bera, Yu-Fei Wang and Cheng-Sen Li   

Abstract: In the present study, nectar and pollen sources for honeybee (Apis cerana cerana Fabr.) were studied in Qinglan mangrove area, Hainan Island, China, based on microscopic analysis of honey and pollen load (corbicular and gut contents) from honeybees collected in October and November 2004. Qualitative and quantitative melittopalynological analysis of the natural honey sample showed that the honey is of unifloral type with Mimosa pudica L. (Mimosaceae) as the predominant (89.14%) source of nectar and pollen for A. cerana cerana in October. Members of Araceae are an important minor (3%–15%) pollen type, whereas those of Arecaceae are a minor (<3%) pollen type. Pollen grains of Nypa fruticans Wurmb., Rhizophora spp., Excoecaria agallocha L., Lumnitzera spp., Bruguiera spp., Kandelia candel Druce, and Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C. B. Rob. are among the notable mangrove taxa growing in Qinglan mangrove area recorded as minor taxa in the honey. The absolute pollen count (i.e. the number of pollen grains/10 g honey sample) suggests that the honey belongs to Group V (>1 000 000). Pollen analysis from the corbicular and gut contents of A. cerana cerana revealed the highest representation (95.60%) of members of Sonneratia spp. (Sonneratiaceae), followed by Bruguiera spp. (Rhizophoraceae), Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, Arecaceae, Araceae, Anacardiaceae, and Rubiaceae. Of these plants, those belonging to Sonneratia plants are the most important nectar and pollen sources for A. cerana cerana and are frequently foraged and pollinated by these bees in November.(Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)10 6283 6436; Fax: +86 (0)10 6259 3385; E-mail: lics@ibcas.ac.cn)

Key words: Hainan Island, honeybee, mangrove, nectar and pollen sources.

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