Role of Bees in Crop Productivity – How Bees Involved in Agriculture productions – Free Study guide

Qualities of honeybees which make them good pollinators

  • Body covered with hairs and have structural adaptation for carrying
  • nectar and pollen.
  • Bees do not injure the plants
  • Adult and larva feed on nectar and pollen which is available in plenty
  • Considered as superior pollinators, since store pollen and nectar for
  • future use
  • No diapause is observed and needs pollen throughout the year
  • Body size and proboscis length is very much suitable for many crops
  • Pollinate wide variety of crops
  • Forage in extreme weather conditions also

Effect of bee pollination on crop

  • It increases yield in terms of seed yield and fruit yield in many crops
  • It improves quality of fruits and seeds
  • Bee pollination increases oil content of seeds in sunflower
  • Bee pollination is a must in some self incompatible crops for seed set



Crops benefited by bee pollination

Fruits and nuts: Almond, apple, apricot, peach, strawberry, citrus and litchi

Vegetable and vegetable seed crops: Cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, coriander cucumber, melon, onion, pumpkin, radish and turnip.

Oil seed crops: Sunflower, niger, rape seed, mustard, safflower, gingelly.

Forage seed crops: Lucerne, clover. 

Yield increase due to bee pollination

Mustard – 43%

Sunflower – 32-48%

Cotton – 17-19%

Lucerne – 112%

Onion – 93%

Apple – 44%

Management of bees for pollination

  • Place hives very near the field source to save bee’s energy
  • Migrate colonies near field at 10 per cent flowering
  • Place colonies at 3/ha for Italian bee and 5/ha for Indian honey bee
  • The colonies should have 5to6 frame strength of bees, with sealed
    brood and young mated queen
  • Allow sufficient space for pollen and honey storage

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