Pollination Efficiency of Persea Americanacv. Hass byeuropean honey beeand asiatic honey beein chiang mai province
Insect pollinating species, especially bees as well as other flower-visiting Hymenoptera (Aculeata), are believed to be among the most ecologically and economically valuable insects. However, recent evidence for declines in both wild bee populations and severe annual honeybee colony losses on a global scale have caused for much concern. Numerous different insect species are responsible for the pollination of avocados (Persea americana) whereby the honeybee plays a major role as a pollinator. The aim of this study was to investigate the pollination efficiency of the Asiatic honey bee (Apis cerana F.) and the European honey bee(Apis mellifera L.) for avocados. Here we applied a completely randomized design (CRD) for three treatmentsas follows: 1) Cage with Asiatic honey bee, 2) Cage with European honey bee and 3) Control uncaged with domestic pollinators. To assess the pollination efficiency we recorded the honeybee flight behavior, the total number of fruits set, the quality of avocados. Our results indicated that there was a significant difference (P<0.05) among the Asiatic honeybees and the other treatment groups, with A. ceranashowing the highest rate of flight. The number of avocado fruits fertilized by A. cerana and A. mellifera was not significant difference.Trends of fertilization by pollination showed greater fruit number than by less pollinators in the open condition (P<0.05). The quality of avocados was significantly higher in the honeybee treatments when compared to the domestic pollinators(P<0.05).Our results showed that Hass avocado in Mae Wang district, Chiang Mai, Thailand required adequate number of honey bee for pollination to get higher number of fruit set due to the limitation of domestic pollinators.
Keywords - Avocado, Apis cerana, Apis mellifera, pollinators, fruit set