ISSN: 1813-0410

Author : K. Glaiim, Murtadha

On the Common Sharp Decline in Honey Bee, Apis mellifera L. , Activity Occuring During Parts of Summer and Fall in Central and Southern Iraq , with a Particular Reference to the Role of Bee – Eaters , Merops spp.

Murtadha K. Glaiim

journal of kerbala university, 2009, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 244-268

The study was conducted in 2008 at the apiary of College of Agriculture , Karbala University to determine outside and inside activities of honey bee, Apis mellifera L. , colonies during the period of sharp decline which usually extends from c. mid – June to c. mid – October and find out the roles of different factors standing behind this decline , especially the bee- eaters , Merops spp. All outside and inside activities of honey bee colonies showed steady sharp decline . The flight activity was either at very low level sometimes or the whole colonies were confined to their hives at many other times. While mean area of sealed brood was somewhat small on 7 July (701. 9 cm2 per colony), it decreased steadily after that to be in the range of 25.8 -152.6 . Mean size of adult bee population decreased from 7.75 and 8.14 sides of combs covered completely with adult bees per colony on 7 and 21 July , respectively to reach its lowest level , 0.59, on 26 October . There was a clear relationship between the presence of bee eaters and stopping of bee flight . The birds were found at the apiary at fluctuated levels . However , their most intensive presence was during the period extending from 1 August to 10 October ,especially at both early and late daytime hours . Many aspects of bee – eater and honey bee behaviors at the apiary were studied in details . In addition to the bee – eaters , there were also other factors participating in this decline including severe rise of ambient temperatures and shortage of nectar and pollen sources . Vespa orientalis L. , had no role at all in present study because it was found in very scarce numbers at the apiary