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Nectar productivity of melilots in Udmurtia, Russia

Lidia Kolbina, Sofia Nepeivoda
XLIV Naukowa konferencja pszczelarska, 24-25 apr., 2007, 93-95 p.

    In the Udmurt Republic there are more than 370 types of honey plants. Most of all the honey plants consists of the family of compositae: there are 47 sorts of 23 families. There are extensive sorts of thistles, sow thistles, knapweeds and others. On the second place there are rosaceae: there are 43 sorts of 22 families. And on the third place there are leguminosae: 36 types 16 sorts. From the leguminosae the most important for beekeeping are melilots.
    Melilotus is an excellent honey plant. The scientific name of this plant consists of two words: ”meli” means "honey" and “lotus” is one of the Roman names of the “clover”.
    The most wide-spread in Udmurtia are Melilotus officinalis and M. albus Medic. It’s seldom to meet M. dentatus L., M. wolgicus Poir and M. polonicus L. and they have a little nectar.
    Phenological observations, made by beekeepers of our region, showed that the average date of blossom’s beginning of Melilotus officinalis is June, 23; the earliest date is June, 20; the latest date is July, 5. The Melilotus albus begins to blossom 5-7 days later than Melilotus officinalis. Both of them blossom to September for 45 - 50 days. Bees visit the flowers willingly, gathering much nectar and pollen.
    Bees visit these kinds of melilotus for the whole day with great activity, but they are more active on the second part of the day. It is noticed that in favourable weather melilotus has more amount of the nectar, which appears as the water drops; it makes melilotus more available for bees.

Table 1. Nectar and honey productivity of melilots

Honey plants

Average amount of sugar in nectar of 1 flower, mg

Average amount of sugar in nectar on 1 hectare, kgs

 Average honey-productivity on 1 hectare, kgs

Melilotus officinalis

0,091 ± 0,012



Melilotus albus Meli

0,099 ± 0,012

396, 0


    Due to the high honey productivity it’s possible to get high honey gathering from melilotus. For example, in the region the weight of the control beehive reached 2-5 kg of honey per a day.

Fig. 1. Evidences of the control beehive for the period of the melilotus officina blossoming.

    Figure 1 shows that honey gathering from Melilotus officinalis officinalis depends on the temperature of the air and the period of the plant’s blossoming: the most sepation of the nectar occurs at the temperature of the air of 20 - 25 0C and in the first part of the plant’s blossom.
    Melilotus don’t demand nutritive soil and even at arid years they provide bees with noney. So in Udmurtia melilotus is one of the best honey plants.

    © 2005-2007 Непейвода С.Н., Колбина Л.М.
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