Abstract:
Honeybees rely exclusively on pollen and nectar-producing plants for strengthening their colonies and manufacturing honey. Little is known about the indigenous melliferous flora of arid zones of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) which is crucial for honey production and how different pollen assessment techniques effect the identification of indigenous melliferous pollen flora. Visual survey and loads ensnaring through pollen traps were used to identify the botanical profile of melliferous pollen flora of Dera Ismail Khan (DIKhan), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The test time extended for two consecutive years 2018 and 2019. The study revealed 56 plant species as pollen flora with 18 significant pollen producing species in visual survey technique while 8 species as predominant flora in pollen trapping technique. The major pollen species found common in both the techniques were Brassica napus L., Brassica campestris L., Trifolium alaxandrinum L., Zea mays L., Acacia modesta L., Citrus aurantium L., Euclyptus spp., and Morus alba L. Pollen interception and palynological analysis of pollen were found to be more reliable techniques as compared to focal observations. More than fifty % differences were found by comparing the results of the visual survey and pollen trapping technique in major flora of DIKhan. Based on the availability, utility status and flowering duration of apiphilic flora, mid-February to mid-May was found to be a significant pollen flow period in the study area. Maximum benefit can be taken in this period through trapping ample amount of pollen and stored for using in artificial diets, selling and feeding bees during dearth period.

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