The study was carried out in District Nowshera at 10 different locations namely; Nizampur, Akora khattak, Pirsabaq, Khat kaly, Azaa kheel, Chirrat, Khweshgi, Behraam kaly, Rashakai, Pabbi, and Kaka sahib through questionnaire in order to gather the information from beekeepers to investigate the predators and parasites of honey bee that causes the losses of honey production and on honey bees. The results show that mites caused severe loss of honey production (35.21%) followed by bee-eaters (21.69%), wax moth (21.63%), black aunts (14.79%) and hornets (6.77%) respectively in the study area.
This research was conducted to determine the bee predators and parasites that causes the loss of honey production and honey bees in Nowshera District, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
Corresponding Author: Zeb.Alam
Beekeeping or apiculture is the science of rearing honey bees in hives under semi-natural conditions for the production of honey and other useful products. A location where honey bee colonies are kept is called Apiary. Honey bees are also used by farmers to pollinate their crops, particularly oil seed and fruit crops.
Apiculture, once considered a cottage occupation, has now emerged a profitable industry in the world. Europe, America, Australia, China, and Japan produce a large quantity of honey and other bee products such as pollen, royal jelly, wax, portfolios and bee venom that have been export worldwide and earn handsome foreign exchange. Many countries imports queens from Australia, because these queens produced bees that are gentle in nature and produced high yield (Ruben, 2006).
Pakistan has ideal climatic conditions for beekeeping in different zones indicating bright chances for the development of beekeeping. Khyber Pukhtonkhwa is the hub of beekeeping due to the presence of important bee flora yielding high quality honey of shain, ber and phullai. Shain honey is produced in Swat valley and has higher medicinal value. Ber honey is produced in Kohat, Karak and Bannu, and exported to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates due to high economic price. Similarly, phullai honey is produced in Chirat, Khairabad and Nizampur hills and used locally (Steven, 2008).
Importance of Beekeeping
Beekeeping has many uses; it produces food in the form of honey. It assists in the production of food by increasing yield of fruit and seed crops. It produces basic raw materials, beeswax, for which there are over 200 different uses. It helps in the regeneration of the forest, the reclamation of eroded land and the improvement of pasture. It gives a profitable and healthy form of livelihood to large number of people, and it is of considerable importance in the economy of the country (Pourta, 2009).
Systematic position of Honey Bee
Honey bees belong to:
Morphology of Honey Bee
The body of honey bee is divided in to head, thorax and abdomen. It has a pair of antennae, three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings (Figure 1).
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Honey Bee Species Occurs in Pakistan
Four species of honey bee occurs in Pakistan, which as as under;
Apis dorsata F. (Rock bee)
This species is of the large size and produces plenty of honey. It constructs a single large combe, sometimes four feet long, on tall forest and shade trees, walls, parts of buildings and in rocks etc. it is unfit for domestication because of its peculiar habit of single combe building, migrations and bad temper.
Apis florea F. (Small bee)
This is the smallest species of all and is often called the little bee. It builds single combe in bushes and hidden places and cannot de domesticated. The combe is small is size and produces littgle honey.
Apis cerana indica F. (Indian bee)
It is small in size thanA.dorsataandA.melliferabut larger thanA. florea.Members of this speices produce combs in parallel rows inside natural hollows in the trees, walls, almirahs and other similar protected places. Honey yield from this species is higher and the bees are eomaratively miled in temper. It is found in the plains and mountains. This is the species that has successively been domesticated and is normally reared in most of the apiaries.
Apis mellifera F. (European bee)
It is successively reared in hives in Europe, America, Australia and Africa. A number of strains of this bee exist in various continents. The italian variety is quite common. It has been introduced in Pakistan, India, China, Japan, and many other countries. It is a bit larger in size thanA. ceranaand is high in honey production.
Casts of honey bees
Honey bees are social insects and there is division of labors among them. An average colony ofApis melliferaconsists of 50,000-80,000 bees and there are three kinds of individuals such as workers, drones and the queen.
These constitute more than 90% of the members of a colony. All the workers are sterile females and do not lay eggs. They are comparatively smaller in size than drones and queen in size (Figure 2). The main duties of the workers are gathering the nectar and pollen from flowers, building comb, rearing brood and defense colony and attending the queen. A worker can live from 6 weeks to 6 months (depending upon the weather and extent of labors).