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Communication and Pollination in Apis indica (L.), The Significant Phenomenon

Vitthalrao B. Khyade*, Vishakha R. Kakade, Aishwarya R. Inamake

Abstract


Honeybees belongs to the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of the honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests from wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 44 subspecies. Foragers communicate their floral findings in order to recruit other worker bees of the hive to forage in the same area. The factors that determine recruiting success are not completely known but probably include evaluations of the quality of nectar and/or pollen brought in. The laden forager dances on the comb in a circular pattern, occasionally crossing the circle in a zig-zag or waggle pattern. The orientation of the dance correlates to the relative position of the sun to the food source, and the length of the waggle portion of the run is correlated to the distance from the hive. Also, the more vigorous the display is, the better the food. There is no evidence that this form of communication depends on individual learning. One of the most important lines of evidence on the origin and utility of the dance is that all of the known species and races of honey bees exhibit the behavior, but details of its execution vary among the different species. For example, in Apis florea and Apis andreniformis (the "dwarf honeybees") the dance is performed on the dorsal, horizontal portion of the nest, which is exposed. The runs and dances point directly toward the resource in these species. Each honey bee species has a characteristically different correlation of "waggling" to distance, as well. Such species-specific behavior suggests that this form of communication does not depend on learning but is rather determined genetically. It also suggests how the dance may have evolved. Various experiments document that changes in the conditions under which the dance is performed lead to characteristic changes in recruitment to external resources, in a manner consistent with von Frisch's original conclusions. Researchers have also discovered other forms of honeybee dance communication, such as the tremble dance. Honey bees are good pollinators for many reasons. Their hairy bodies trap pollen and carry it between flowers. The bees require large quantities of nectar and pollen to rear their young, and they visit flowers regularly in large numbers to obtain these foods. In doing so, they concentrate on one species of plant at a time and serve as good pollinators for this reason. Their body size enables them to pollinate flowers of many different shapes and sizes. The pollination potential of the bees is increased because they can be managed to develop high populations. The number of colonies can also be increased as needed and the colonies can be moved to the most desirable location for pollination purposes. In unfavorable weather, bees may visit only those plants nearest the hive. They also tend to work closer to the hive in areas where there are large numbers of attractive plants in bloom.

Keywords


Apis indica (L.); pollination; Communication and Pollination

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