Full Length Research Paper
Experiments were conducted at Nyambaka in the Adamawa Region of Cameroon, from March 2017 to November 2018, for assessing the apicultural potential of Bidens steppia, Cordia africana, Pittosporum viridiflorum and Psychotria mahonii. In order to improve the beekeeping productivity, it is important to investigate the diversity of bee plants in a given apiary site. To that end, the foraging behaviour of Apis mellifera workers was studied on the flowers of each plant species twice a week during the whole blooming period. The abundance of opened flowers per plant, floral products harvested by foragers, mean duration of floral visit, mean density of foragers, sugar content of nectar of each plant species, and number of effective visits of A. mellifera on flowers were assessed. Results indicated that, honeybee workers harvested nectar of each plant species; B. steppia and P. viridiflorum were intensely foraged for pollen harvesting too. The abundance of workers/1000 flowers varied from 123 on P. mahonii to 724 on C. africana. The mean value of the sugar content of nectar oscillated from 19.50% (C. africana) to 38% (B. steppia). C. africana and P. mahonii were highly nectariferous plant species while B. steppia was very highly polliniferous and slightly nectariferous and P. viridiflorum very highly nectariferous and slightly polliniferous. During its foraging activity, workers improved the pollination possibilities of plant species. By planting or protecting these plant species, a bee-friendly garden can be preserve for providing nectar flow and pollen availability for beekeeping purpose.
Key words: Apiary, apicultural value, beekeeping, bee plant, foraging behaviour, sugar content.
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