Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Parthenium hysterophorus and Cyperus rotundus: alternative sources of food for honeybees during dearth period.

Abstract

Honeybees are the small wonderful creatures which depend upon flowers for their food. Worker bees always keep on collecting food (pollen & nectar) and store it inside the comb. They later transform pollen into bee bread and nectar into honey with the help of enzymatic activity. Both bee bread and honey are used as reserve food material by bees during harsh weather to maintain their population which otherwise gets affected due to non-availability of flowers. The situation becomes more severe if dearth period run for longer time as the food stores inside the colony gets depleted. At this time, bees start collecting pollen from wild flowers/weeds available in the vicinity of apiary. During summer/monsoon dearth period, many weeds and herbs germinate in the wasteland or crop fields. Parthenium hysterophorus and Cyperus rotundus are two important weeds which are in full bloom during this period. Although, both these weeds are not considered good for the environment especially Parthenium causes various ill effects to human health, honeybees forage upon these weeds with great interest. In the present study, foraging activity of Apis mellifera was observed on both the weeds.