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Foraging and pollination behaviour of Xylocopa olivacea (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on Phaseolus coccineus (Fabaceae) flowers at Ngaoundéré (Cameroon)

  • Fernand-Nestor Tchuenguem Fohouo
  • Sidonie Fameni TopeEmail author
  • Dorothea Brückner
Research Paper

Abstract

To evaluate the effect of the carpenter bee, Xylocopa olivacea Lepeletier 1841, on the pod and seed yields of Phaseolus coccineus L., in this study, its foraging and pollination activities were examined in Ngaoundéré during the June-July 2010 and July-August 2011 cropping seasons. Treatments included open floral access to all visitors, bagging of flowers to avoid all visits and floral access to limited visits of X. olivacea. Observations were made on 120 flowers per treatment. In addition, all flower visitors were recorded. The seasonal rhythm of the activity of the carpenter bee, its foraging behaviour on flowers and its pollination efficiency (fruiting rate, number of seeds/pod and percentage of normal or well-developed seeds) were recorded. Phaseolus coccineus flowers were visited by 13 insect species in 2010 and by 14 insect species in 2011. Xylocopa olivacea was the most frequent visitor and intensely and exclusively foraged the flowers for nectar. The mean foraging speed was 9.28 flowers/min. In 2010, the foraging activity of X. olivacea resulted in a significant increase in the fruiting rate (27.49%), number of seeds/pod (45.43%) and percentage of normal seeds (89.38%). In 2011, the corresponding values were 56.14% (fruiting rate), 74.44% (number of seeds/pod) and 66.44% (percentage of normal seeds). These results reveal that this crop experiences a pollination deficit, considering that flowers visited by X. olivacea had higher yields than those under unlimited access to all visitors. Hence, the conservation of X. olivacea nests close to P. coccineus crop fields is recommended for improving pod and seed production.

Key words

Xylocopa olivacea Phaseolus coccineus foraging activity nectar pollination yield 

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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernand-Nestor Tchuenguem Fohouo
    • 1
  • Sidonie Fameni Tope
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dorothea Brückner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of NgaoundéréNgaoundéréCameroon
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Livestock and By-Products, Higher Institute of the SahelUniversity of MarouaMarouaCameroon
  3. 3.Forschungsstelle für BienenkundeUniversität Bremen, FB2Postfach 33 04 40BremenGermany

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