Evaluation of four apicultural products for hive colonization by honey bees (Apis mellifera adansonii) (Hymenoptera: apidae) and pre-colonization pests
Four apicultural products (honey, bee wax, slum gum and propolis) were evaluated for their potentials to attract the African honey bee (Apis mellifera adansonii) colony into artificial hives and their effect on infestation by apicultural insect pests. Ten grammes each of propolis, bee wax and slum gum and 10 ml of honey were applied at the flight entrance, walls of the hives and on the top bars. Data were collected on type and number of pre-colonization pests, hive colonization, colony weight gain, weight of matured harvested combs and weight of extracted honey from the harvested combs. Statistical analysis of the data was carried out using analysis of variance and means were separated with Tukeys’ HSD at 5% level of probability. Slum gum-baited hives were the first to be colonized (10 days post hive installation) (DPI), followed by bee wax (26.5 DPI). Bee wax however had the highest percentage hive colonization (66.67%) which was not significantly (P>0.05) different from 33.33% observed in other apicultural products. Weight gain on weekly basis did not follow a regular pattern for 2-10 weeks after colonization (WAC); but at 12-16 WAC, hives baited with bee wax had the highest weekly weight gain. In terms of total harvest, the performance of the different baiting materials was as follows: slum gum > bee wax > honey > propolis. However, percentage honey yield was highest in hives baited with bee wax and lowest in propolis-baited hives. The two pests encountered at the pre-colonization stage were waiver ant (Oecophylla longinuda) and sugar ant (Camponotus consobrinus). O. longinuda was significantly (P<0.05) highest (17.33) in honey baited hives than any other baiting material at 2 DPI. Slum gum and honey attracted more sugar ants at 2-4 DPI than bee wax. At 3 DPI, O. longinuda was significantly (P<0.05) higher in slum gum than bee wax; but the later performed better with significantly lower level of pre-colonization pest infestation.
Keywords: pest, wax, honey, propolis, slum-gum
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