Date of Publication: 24-Aug-2023
Insect pollinator diversity and their foraging behaviour in Radish, Raphanus sativus L.
Author: Pratap A. Divekar, Sampat Kumar Patel, Manimurugan C., Vikas Singh
Category: Research Article
Radish is a cross-pollinated crop and honey bees are essential for its pollination. In the present investigation, the diversity and abundance of insect pollinators and additionally their visitation rate and frequency were also studied during 2019 and 2020. The foraging observations were noted at 08:00–10:00 hours (early morning foraging activity), 10:00-12:00 hours (late morning foraging activity), 12:00-14:00 hours (noon foraging activity), and 14:00-16:00 hours (afternoon foraging activity). The results revealed that nine species of bees, five flies, three butterflies, and three wasps species visited the flowers of radish during the study period. Apis florea, Apis mellifera, and Apis dorsata were the dominant pollinator species with 132-201, 110-130, and 90-115 individuals, respectively during the study duration. The maximum foraging activity of the dominant pollinators was observed at 14:00 hrs followed by 12:00 hrs whereas the minimum foraging activity was recorded in the early morning hours at 08:00. The frequency of floral visitors varied greatly, with A. florea (14.50-15.80 visits/flower/5 min) being the most frequent, followed by A. mellifera (9.80-11.00 visits/flower/5 min) and A. dorsata (8.30–9.40 visits/flower/5 min) in both seasons. Similarly, A. florea had statistically higher visitation rate (26.93–27.40 flowers visited/min) followed by A. mellifera (15.93–16.00 flowers visited/min) and A. dorsata (12.62-15.13 flowers visited/min). The findings suggested that A. florea, A. mellifera, and A. dorsata may be efficient radish pollinators. Therefore, on a commercial scale, these three species can be effectively used to increase crop yields.
Keywords: foraging behavior, honeybees, pollinator diversity, radish