Biodiversity Conservation - Challenges for the Future

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Diversity of Stingless Bee Flora in Kerala

Pp. 221-227 (7)

Devanesan S., Premila K.S. and Shailaja K.K.

Abstract

The stingless bee plays a key role in pollination and yield enhancement of natural tropical plants and crops. The honey produced by stingless bee is unique and fetches high price because of its medicinal property. They collect nectar and pollen mainly from medicinal plants, low lying herbs and weeds having comparatively smaller flowers, which are not commonly visited by Apis spp. The rich biodiversity and abundant flora of the State is studied in relation to the foraging activity of stingless bees Trigona iridipennis Smith for its nectar and pollen. The study indicated that stingless bees visited 99 plants either for nectar or pollen or both. Out of these 99 plants recorded, 33 plants provided both nectar and pollen, 46 plants provided nectar only and 20 plants provided pollen alone.

Keywords:

Flora, foraging plants, Kerala, meliponiculture, nectar, pollen, stingless bee, Trigona iridipennis.

Affiliation:

Honey bees and Pollinators, Vellayani Centre, Department of Agricultural Entomology, College of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani, Kerala, India.