Studies on evaluation of various flours as pollen substitutes and availability of pollen resources for Apis mellifera honey bees were conducted at Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India during 2010. Four flours were taken viz. Soybean, Maize, Wheat and Gram as pollen substitutes for A. mellifera. All the flours were mixed with honey and water to make a total of 4 treatments (4 flours + honey + water). Treatment T1 (Soybean flour + honey + water) were found to be best in reference to visitation of bees with a mean number of 32.59 honey bee foragers /5min/day and weight loss in flours was 19.12 g due to foraging by bees followed by the treatment T3 (Maize flour + honey + water) and T2 (Wheat flour + honey + water) were found 29.30 and 23.05, respectively. Gram flour + honey + water (T4) combination were found to be least preferred pollen substitute for A. mellifera (19.76 honey bee foragers/5min/day) with a weight loss 6.66 g. The overall study has great significance for bee keepers. The use of pollen substitute is important for growth and development of the bee colonies not only in dearth periods but also at other times (during foraging, pollination process and to overcome pesticide exposures.). From the present findings it can be concluded that although bees have accepted and grew on all the diets.
A. mellifera, Gram, Honey, Maize, Pollen, Soybean, Wheat
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