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A study on the foraging Behaviour of hymenopterans on vegetable crops in the south-24-parganas district of west Bengal, India

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Author: 
Panchali Sengupta and Narayan Ghorai
Abstract: 

The present study documented 20 species of foraging hymenopterans on seven vegetable crop species (Solanum melongena, Solanum lycopersicum, Abelmoschus esculentus, Brassica oleracea var. capitata, Capsicum annuum, Raphanus sativus, Allium cepa) across two study site (viz. Lakshmikantapur and Narendrapur) established in the South-24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India. The entire study was conducted from July 2015 to June 2017. Greater visitation rate of Xylocopa, Bombus orientalis, Apis and Megachile on flowering plant species were observed. Additionally, Xylocopa and Apis also spend longer duration of time foraging on crop species. Greater visitation rate and longer duration of visits by Xylocopa bees could probably be attributed to their ability to forage from a wide repertoire of food plants throughout the year. A synchrony between peak blooming period of flowers and maximum number of foraging hymenopterans as noted probably elaborate an attempt by these bees to maximize the energy intake per unit time during peak blooming period of such plants. Additionally, Solanum melongena, S. lycopersicum, Brassica oleracea var. capitata, Raphanus sativus, Allium cepa were observed attracting a large number of insect visitors. Such studies on pollinating behaviour of hymenopterans probably elaborate the pollination service as rendered by them.

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