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Data from: How efficient is Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in pollinating cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. capitata? pollination behavior, pollinator effectiveness, pollinator requirement, and impact of pollination

Citation

Stanley, Johnson et al. (2018), Data from: How efficient is Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in pollinating cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. capitata? pollination behavior, pollinator effectiveness, pollinator requirement, and impact of pollination, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5p3mt

Abstract

Cabbage is a cross-pollinated crop because of sporophytic self-incompatibility, and honey bees play an important role in its pollination. Though Asian honey bees, Apis cerana F., are used in pollination of cabbage, the rate of visitation, behavior, pollinator efficacy, and impact on seed-set are to be determined. Apis cerana occupy a share of 19.18% of all the flower visitors of cabbage in natural habitat of North Western Indian Himalayas. Pollination behavior in terms of peak activity, flowers processed per unit time, time spent per flower, and time spent in search of flowers are studied separately for both pollen and nectar foragers. Pollinator effectiveness as measured by seed set in flowers excluded from bee visitation, single bee visit, and unrestricted pollinator visits was 0.11. Studies on the impact of A. cerana bee pollination in cabbage seed production revealed an increase of 17.28% in siliqua per panicle, with 26.11% increase in seed yield. For assessing the requirement of A. cerana to pollinate one hectare of cabbage, flower availability and the speed with which the pollen and nectar foragers process the flowers are taken into consideration. A forager is estimated to pollinate 4,780 flowers a day, but cabbage flower requires 9.09 visits of A. cerana for optimum seed set. Thus, a maximum of 4,999 bee foragers or 8.33 colonies are needed to effectively pollinate 1 ha of cabbage. Though A. cerana is a good pollinator, our findings suggest that it is not an ideal pollinator of cabbage.

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