Herbaceous Bee Forage Adaptation Trail in Lowlands of Borana Zone Southern Oromia
To mitigate the shortage of bee forage and help increase honey production, the use of cultivated perennial and annual nectar and pollen sources is highly important in beekeeping development. The study was conducted with the objective of evaluating and identifying adaptable honey bee forage species for beekeeping development. The planting materials were Aschynomene uniflorum, Miloletus alba, Fagopyrum esculentum, Sinaps alba, and Vicia sativa. The species were evaluated based on germination date, time to set flower, days to 50% flowering, number of flower heads per plant (at 50% flowering of the plant), flowering length (blooming duration), maturity date, and plant height at the flowering stage. Among the five evaluated herbaceous bee forage species, three of them, Aschynomene uniflorum, Fagopyrum esculentum, and Sinaps alba, are adapted and perform well in the most important agronomic parameters. Therefore, the selected bee forage species can be promoted, and beekeepers in the study areas and other areas with similar agroecology can utilise the forage species for beekeeping development. Moreover, evaluation of other agronomic parameters such as seeding rate, fertiliser rate, nectar and/or pollen yield, foraging intensity, and others over different locations of the Borana zone is recommended
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