Journal of Apicultural Science

Experience with using bumblebees as pollinators in the regeneration of the genetic resources of some forage legumes

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 47, Issue 1, Pages 31-36, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
In our study the effectiveness of the bumble bees as pollinators of several species of the genera Trifolium L. (T. rubens, T. ambiguum, T. hybridum, T. repens, T. pratense, T. medium), Medicago L. (M. romanica, M. polychroa, M. falcata, M. sativa) and Lotus corniculatus was evaluated over a 5-year period at the Research Institute of Plant Production, Piestany. Those species were propagated in technical isolation separately or in combinations using Bombus terrestris for pollination. In the years 2000, 2001 Bombus pascuorum and B. lapidarius were used for pollination of T. pratense and M. falcata. The results showed that bumblebees could serve as effective pollinators of some perennial forage legumes with the aim to obtain sufficient amount of seeds for their maintenance in a gene bank. The existing differences in attractiveness between various plant genera may influence the amount of harvested seed in the case of their presence under the same coverage. Better seed yields per plant were obtained in Medicago in comparison to Trifolium species when grown together in the same enclosure. The effect of Bombus species on the seed weight of T. pratense was not significant. However, additional research is required to improve our knowledge in the reproductive biology and pollination requirements inclusive specific demands on the insect agent.
forage legumes, multiplication, pollination, Bombus spp
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