Speaker : Ponnuchamy R., Ph.D Candidate, French Institute of Pondicherry.
I will present a part of my ongoing Ph.D dissertation work that broadly deals with plants and honeybee association / (interaction) using the melissopalynological method. Melissopalynology is the science dealing with pollen contents of honey. In this second talk in the Ecology Talk series, I will focus on the results and analysis of systematic collection of honey samples for the melissopalynological studies for three years (2007-2009) from Apis cerana F. beehives, every three months from four sites; three of these are within Project Ecolake, near the Ousetri Lake ( 10km. west of Puducherry town) and the fourth one, 6km away. Plant systematic, 41 families of phanerogams representing 80 pollen types were identified light microscopically from 42 honey samples harvested seasonally. Of these, 62% were considered as "unifloral" (a single pollen type represents >45% of all observed pollen influx in a honey). Pollen types of Lannea, Dodonaea, Phoenix, Cocos, Acacia and Borassus were observed significant percentage (Predominant pollen). The three Arecaceae members were observed with consistent abundances in most of the samples. The results show that melissopalynology reflects quite well the local floral resources around the hives particularly trees and shrubs. However, significant intra-annual and inter annual differences in the honey pollen spectra indicate/validate our initial hypothesis (refer the first talk) that a minimum of three years data are required to discern stable patterns of honeybee foraging patterns. The floral resource availability and honeybee preferences inferred from our results can be interpreted in the light of local rainfall and temperature fluctuations, two key factors for flowering phenology.
Organisers: Department of Ecology, French Institute of Pondicherry.
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Conference Hall, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11, Saint Louis Street, Pondicherry - 605 001.