Are colony developmental stages of bumblebee, Bombus terrestris (hymenoptera: apidae) affected by different concentrations of sugar and honey solutions?

  • Imran, Muhammad (Department of Entomology, The University of Poonch) ;
  • Ahmad, Munir (Department of Entomology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi) ;
  • Naeem, Muhammad (Department of Entomology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi) ;
  • Mahmood, Khalid (Department of Entomology, The University of Poonch) ;
  • Nasir, Muhammad (Department of Entomology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi) ;
  • Aslam Sheikh, Umer Ayyaz (Department of Entomology, The University of Poonch)
  • Received : 2017.05.12
  • Accepted : 2017.06.09
  • Published : 2017.06.30


Bumblebees, more efficient than honeybees, provide important services for pollination especially in tomato, pepper, cucumber, strawberries and other crops grown under tunnel farming or glasshouse conditions to yield maximization. These bees require pollen and nectar to meet their dietary needs and maintain their colony structure, development and reproduction. Keeping in view their economic importance, the effect of five concentrations of sugar and honey solutions (1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, 2:1,1.5:1) each as alternative to nectar were used to observe their effect on life history parameters of Bombus terrestris. The 1:1 ratio of sugar solution was found most effective followed by 1.5:1, 1:1.5, 1:2 and 2:1 and also more effective of all five concentrations of honey solutions on all three stages of colony development i.e., at colony initiation, colony development and colony maturation stages. At colony initiation stage, early pre-oviposition period ($6.40{\pm}0.97$ days), early emergence of first worker in the first batch ($25.40{\pm}1.21$ days) and maximum numbers of workers ($6.20{\pm}0.24$) emergence in the first batch were observed at 1:1 ratio of sugar solution. Colonies reared on 1:1 ratio of sugar solution reached earlier ($52.13{\pm}1.28$ days) at colony foundation stage with minimum mortality ($3.27{\pm}0.54$ workers). At colony maturation stage, maximum numbers of workers, sexual (males, queens) and maximum mother queen longevity was observed at the same 1:1 ratio of sugar solution. It can be suggested from present study that sugar solution as alternative of nectar at 1:1 ratio was better than other sugar concentration levels and also from those of honey solution.


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