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Nesting plants of dwarf honeybee, Apis florea F. under tropical conditions of Karnataka, India

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The study was conducted to record the nesting plants of dwarf honeybee, Apis florea at different habitats under tropical conditions of Karnataka, India during 2007-2008. The data revealed that, 13 genera belonging to nine trees (8 families) and four shrubs (4 families) provided the nesting platform to A. florea. The density, abundance, and frequency of nesting plants varied considerably. While Pongamia pinnata was selected frequently among the trees, Bouganvillea sp. was preferred among the shrubs for nesting. There was a significant variation (X2 = 18.25; P<0.05) among the tree and shrub species selected for nesting by A. florea in different habitats. Further, thin to medium (2-4 inch dia.) sized limbs, often interspersed thickly at different elevations in trees and shrubby plants were found suitable for the construction of colonies. The combs were found at the peripheral and middle regions of thickly interspersed canopy in trees and shrubs respectively, possibly to ensure withstanding the comb weight, protecting the comb from wind blow, and avoiding predation and hunting. Thus, it appears that A. florea adopts elite strategy to safeguard its colonies from certain ecological and biological impediments in the wild by choosing plants with thick interspersed limbs covered with thick canopy. In view of its role as an important pollinating agent of many crops, the preservation of the commonly chosen nesting plants becomes all the more important for conservation of A. florea.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Studies in Zoology, University of Mysore, Manasagangotri Mysore-570 006, India


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