Establishment of Honey Bee Floral Calendar in West Arsi and East Shewa Zones of Oromia, Ethiopia

Mekonnen Wolditsadik


Adequate knowledge about honey bee flora is important for beekeeping this study was under taken to identify and document honeybee plants in West Arsi and East Shewa Zones using melissopalynological analysis of honey samples, pollen collection, plant inventory, structured questionnaires and field observation. Eighteen honey samples were collected from different parts of the zones. Out of 18 samples, 14 were identified as monofloral honeys and 4 as multifloral honeys. This indicated that there is high diversity of honeybee plant species in 4 honey samples that give flowers in the same season contributing for production of multifloral honey and 14 samples were dominated by few major honeybee plants due to their abundance in addition to their quality for honey production. Fifty eight (58) plants species were identified as honey source plants based on melissopalynological analysis of honey. Of 58 species, Guizotia scarba (89.7%)Eucalyptus (69.2%)  Eucalyptus camadulensis (66.2%) Acacia tortolis (60.9%) Schefflera Abyssinia (70.2%) and Croton macronstachys (57.2%) provided mono-floral honey. The flowering calendar of the zone indicated two major honey flow periods from April to June and September to November. The scarcity of honeybee forages were observed in July to mid of August and January to February and mid of March. In many districts of the zone, herbaceous honeybee forage species were the dominant honey source plants in September to November. While, in March to May majority of honey source plants were trees and shrubs due to the phonological patterns of plants. To apply seasonal honeybee colony management, beekeepers should manage honeybee colonies following phonological pattern of honeybee plants. Beekeeping based agro forestry practices on cultivated rain fed land, and selection of plant species that can resist drought and bear (set) flower for a long season should be introduced in all land use types.

Keywords: Beekeeping, Monoflora, Honey bee flora, Flowering tim

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/13-15-04

Publication date:September 30th 2023

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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