Major honey flows (plants, seasons)

From SAMSwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The classification of a plant species as "important" honey bee plant often depends on different opinions of surveyed beekeepers, due to different criteria selecting and recognizing them (nectar flow, pollen amount, flowering period, quality, frequency of honey bee visits, ...).

Ethiopia: There are several important melliferous plant species within following botanical families: Acanthaceae (Asystasia gangetica, Hypoestes forskaolii, Justicia bizuneshiae), Agavaceae (Agave sisalana), Aloaceae (Aloe spp.), Anacaridaceae (Ozoroa insignis), Araliaceae (Schefflera abyssinica), Arecaceae (Borassus aethiopum, Phoenix reclinata), Asteraceae (Bidens macroptera, B. pachyloma, Carduus camaecephalus, Carthamus tinctorius, Crassocephalum macropappum, Guizotia abyssinica, G. scabra, Helichrysum citrispinum, Mikaniopsis clematoides, Vernonia amygdalina), Boraginaceae (Cordia africana), Cactaceae (Opuntia ficus-indica), Campanulaceae (Lobelia rhynchopetalum), Combretaceae (Combretum molle, Terminalia brownii), Ericaceae (Erica arborea, E. trimera), Euphorbiaceae (Croton macrostachyus, Euphorbium candelabrum), Fabaceae (Acacia spp., Acacia albia, A. brevispica, A. pentagona, A. senegal, A. seyal, A. sieberiana, A. tortilis, Albizia spp., Dichtrostachys cinera, Piliostigma thonningii, Trifolium spp.), Hypericaceae (Hypericum revolutum), Lamiaceae (Becium grandiflorum, Satureja punctata), Leguminosae (Cassia arereh), Malvaceae (Grewia mollis, G. villosa), Moraceae (Ficus sur), Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus globulus), Oleaceae (Olea Africana), Poaceae (Andropogon abyssinicus), Rhamnaceae (Berchemia discolor, Ziziphus pubescens), Rosaceae (Hagenia abyssinica), Rubiaceae (Coffea arabica), Sapotaceae (Aningeria adolfi-friederici, Mimusops laurifolia) and Ulmaceae (Celtis africana, C. toka). [1][2] [3] [4] It has to be mentioned, that there may be more plant families relevant for honey bees.

The literature is not consistent when it comes to major honey harvesting seasons. While Gemechis (2016) claims, that there are two seasons of honey harvesting: October - November and April - June (before and after rainy season) [5], Gidey et al. (2012) distinguish between honey harvesting periods in the lowlands and midlands (November - December) and in the highlands (April - June). [6] In general it can be said, that the best time for honey harvesting depends on the particular regions, due to the various climate zones in Ethiopia ("mini" harvesting seasons): e. g. in south-western Ethiopia there is a major harvesting season from April - June, and a minor one from November - January. [7]

Indonesia: In general, almost no literature exists on important melliferous plants in Indonesia. Furthermore, there is no information about important floral species for Apis mellifera. However, due to the similar morphology and nutritional ecology of A. mellifera and A. cerana, it can be assumed, that floral species, important for A. cerana, also act as potential melliferous plant species for A. mellifera: Acanthaceae (Asystasia coromandeliana), Anacardiaceae (Mangifera indica, Mangifera spp.), Arecaceae (Areca catechu, Arenga pinnata, Caryota mitis, Cocos nucifera), Asteraceae (Bidens pilosa, Clibadium surinamensis, Eupatorium inulifolium, E. odoratum, Galinsoga parviflora, Tithonia diversifolia, Mikania micrantha, Spilanthes iabadicensis, S. paniculata), Bombacaceae (Durio zibethinus), Brassicaceae (Brassica rapa, Brassica sp., Rorippa indica), Caricaceae (Carica papaya), Cucurbitaceae (Momordica charantia, Cucumis sativus, Sechium edule), Cyperaceae (Cyperus kyllingia), Euphorbiaceae (Aleurites moluccana, Homalanthus pupulneus), Fabaceae (Acacia auriculiformis, A. mangium, A. crassicarpa, Calliandra spp., Leucaena glauca, Mimosa invisa, M. pigra, M. pudica, Pithecellobium lobatum, Parkia speciosa), Graminae (Oryza sativa, Zea mays), Lauraceae (Cinnamomum burmanii, Persea americana), Loranthaceae (Loranthus europaeus), Lythraceae (Cuphea spp.), Meliaceae (Melia azedarach, Toona sureni), Myrtaceae (Psidium guajava) and Verbenaceae (Tectona grandis). [8] [9] Especially important seems to be Calliandra calothyrsus for both, pollen and nectar. It was introduced from South America in the 1930 is (Fig below) and is distributed all over the Indonesian islands.

There is cryptic information on major harvesting seasons in Indonesia, but according to an informal survey, conducted by the Universitas Padjadjaran (2018), the most important harvesting season in West Java takes place from January to May, while it is also common to harvest minor amounts of honey during the whole year, if there is personal need. Shouten et al. (in press) observed that beekeepers within the study area (Nusa Penida, Bali and Java ) harvested honey on average eight times a year. [10] Hadisoesilo (2002) mentioned two honey seasons in Sulawesi: one from September to December and one from February to April. It has to be mentioned, that from the article it was not clear, if those seasons are only related to honey obtaining from A. dorsata, or to Apis species in general. [11]


  1. Admasu, A., Kibebew, W., Ensermu, K., & Amssalu, B. (2014). Honeybee Forages of Ethiopia. Holeta Bee Research Center. Ethiopia.
  2. El Mahi, A. G., & Magid, T. D. A., (2014). The Potential of Acacia seyal as a Resourceful Tree for Gum Arabic in Sudan. Gum Arabic Board (Sudan). Khartoum.
  3. Gupta, R. K., Reybroeck, W., van Veen, J. W., & Gupta, A. (2014). Beekeeping for Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood Security: Vol. 1: Technological Aspects of Beekeeping. Dordrecht, Springer Netherlands.
  4. Haftom, G., Zelealem, T., Girmay, M., & Awet, E. (2013). Seasonal honeybee forage availability, swarming, absconding and honey harvesting in Debrekidan and Begasheka Watersheds of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development 25(4). HTML-Version.
  5. Gemechis, L. Y. (2016). Honey Production and Marketing in Ethiopia. Agriculture And Biology Journal Of North America, 7(5), 248-253.
  6. Gidey, Y., Bethelhem, K., Dawit, K., & Alem, M. (2012). Assessment of beekeeping practices in Asgede Tsimbla district, Northern Ethiopia: Absconding, bee forage and bee pests. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(1), 1-5.
  7. Awraris, G. S., Yemisrach, G., Dejen, A., Nuru, A., Gebeyehu, G., & Workneh, A. (2012). Honey production systems (Apis mellifera L.) in Kaffa, Sheka and Bench-Maji zones of Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, 4(19), 528-541.
  8. Jasmi (2017). Diversity and blooming season of food sources plant of Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in polyculture plantation in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Biodiversitas, 18(1), 34-40.
  9. Pribadi, A. (2016). Hama Dan Penyakit Pada Lebah Apis cerana Fabr. Pemeliharaan Di Areal Hutan Tanaman Acacia mangium Wild. Dan Acacia crassicarpa Wild. Galam, 2(1), 41-54.
  10. Shouten, C. N., Lloyd, D. J., & Lloyd, H. (2019). Beekeeping with the Asian Honey Bee (Apis cerana javana Fabr) in Indonesia.
  11. Hadisoesilo, S. (2002). Tingku - A traditional management technique. Bees for Development Journal, 64, 4-5.