A MELISSOPALYNOLOGICAL APPRAISAL OF APICULTURE IN THE UPPER HIMALAYAN AND SHIVALIK HILLS OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIAVandana Kumari, Neelu Dheer, Sandeep Kaushik, Ashish Kumar Choudhary and Vinod Kumar Mattu
Melissopalynological payoff of 36 honey samples (18 summer and the same number of autumn honey samples) directly collected from feral colonies of European bee, Apis mellifera L., Rock bee, Apis dorsata F. and Indian hive bee, A. cerana F. during 2011-2015 from Solan districtâs Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh (HP), India has been voiced in the present study. The majority of the 18 (9 summer and 9 autumn) honey samples were from Apis mellifera L. beehives, 13 (6 summer and 7 autumn) honey samples were from A. cerana F. beehives and 5 (3 summer and 2 autumn) honey samples were from Apis dorsata F. 67% of honey samples were unifloral during summers, however in winters the proportion dwindled to mere 22%. Apis mellifera and Apis cerana contribution to unifloral honey during summer was 58% and 42% respectively. 78% of winter honey samples were multifloral with more significant contribution owing to Apis mellifera (57%) followed by A. cerana (29%). None of the summer or winter honey samples which were obtained from Apis dorsata hives were unifloral. Melissopalynological analysis of honey samples from Solan hills collectively demonstrated the presence of pollens of 54 plant families. 12 summer honey samples were categorized as unifloral with 8 palynotaxa as predominant. 4 autumn honey samples were recorded as unifloral with 3 palynotaxa as predominant. Predominant bee plant taxa of summer season were: Citrus sp. Pyrus communis, Pyrus domestica, Grewia optiva, Mangifera indica, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Syzygium cumini and Prunus sp. Impatiens balsamina, Helianthus annuus and Sesamum indicum were predominant bee plant taxa in winters.