Yearlong association of Apis dorsata and Apis florea with flowering plants: planted forest vs. agricultural landscape

Mudssar Ali, Asif Sajjad, Shafqat Saeed


The yearlong association of two native honey bee species (Apis dorsata and A. florea) with 49 plant species was recorded in a planted forest and adjacent agricultural landscape at Multan, Pakistan. The study resulted in 588 interactions of A. dorsata with 40 plant species and 454 interactions of A. florea on 38 plant species. The most visited plants species by A. dorsata included Helianthus annuus, Citrus reticulata, Trifolium alexandrinum, Moringa oleifera and Calotropis procera, while the most visited plant species by A. florea included C. procera, Mangifera indica, T. alexandrinum, Coriandrum sativum and H. annuus. The peak abundance of bees and floral resources (i.e. number of plant species in flowering and abundance of floral units) was recorded during early March to late May followed by a gradual decline until December. Monthly abundance of both bee species was positively related to the floral resources, negatively related to relative humidity while it was not significantly related to temperature. The current study may serve as a baseline to track the degradation in ecosystem service of cross pollination and making new conservation strategies at local scale while future research should focus on tempo-spatial variations in foraging preferences, floral constancy and effect of foraging competition on crop pollination in different ecological regions of Pakistan.


Honey bees, floral host plants, seasonal variations, conservation

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