Seasonal variation of collected pollen loads of honeybees (Apis mellifera L. anatoliaca)

Bilisik A., Cakmak İ., BIÇAKÇI A., MALYER H.

GRANA, vol.47, no.1, pp.70-77, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00173130801923976
  • Journal Name: GRANA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.70-77
  • Keywords: apis mellifera anatoliaca, pollen loads, pollen preference, pollen calendar, seasonal variation, Bursa, Turkey, UNIFLORAL HONEYS, AMINO-ACID, BEES, BEHAVIOR, REGION, PREFERENCES, FORAGERS, COLONIES, MOROCCO, ORIGIN
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Pollen collected by honeybees foraging in the region of Bursa, Turkey was analysed for a whole year. Pollen loads were collected from the hives of Apis mellifera anatoliaca once a week and were classified by colour. Forty-one taxa were identified from the pollen analyses of the loads and 14 of these had percentages higher than 1%. Only 2.05% of the total pollen could not have been identified. Dominant taxa include; Brassicaceae (11.19%), Helianthus annuus L. (10.84%), Cichorioideae (8.93%) Salix spp. (7.99%), Rosaceae (7.37%), Centaurea spp. (7.56%), Papaver spp. (7.41%), Knautia spp. (6.99%), Fabaceae (6.01%), Asteraceae (5.73%), Xanthium spp. (2.65%), Chrozophora spp. (2.45%), Plantago spp. (1.56%) and Acer spp. (1.54%) representing 88.23% of the total. Distinct variations in plant usage are seen through the year with initial use of Rosaceae, Salix, and to a lesser extent Brassicaeae. As these groups finish flowering the bees move onto Helianthus annuus, Centaurea through the summer followed by Asteraceae in the late summer and Fabaceae in the autumn. There is a strong reliance on crop species for pollen forage but a number of indigenous species are also seen within the samples. The most productive period for collecting various pollen types, and the ideal period to determine pollen preferences of honey bees was June-August.