Indian Journal of Agricultural Research

  • Chief EditorT. Mohapatra

  • Print ISSN 0367-8245

  • Online ISSN 0976-058X

  • NAAS Rating 5.20

  • SJR .258 (2022)

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Melissopalynological Determination of Pollen Density and Botanical Origin of Autumn Honeys of Kullu Hills, Himachal Pradesh, India

Radhika Jamwal, V.K. Mattu
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1Department of Zoology, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Cluster University, Mandi-175 001, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Cite article:- Jamwal Radhika, Mattu V.K. (2022). Melissopalynological Determination of Pollen Density and Botanical Origin of Autumn Honeys of Kullu Hills, Himachal Pradesh, India. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research. 56(4): 381-388. doi: 10.18805/IJARe.A-5605.
Background: Geographical and botanical origins of honeys are determined by melissopalynological analysis. Pollen contents of 12 autumn honeys collected from Indian honey bee, Apis cerana F. hives located in different localities of Kullu hills of Himachal Pradesh were analysed. Kullu hills having varied geography, climatic condition with diversified and rich flora is ideal for apiculture. So, it is of utmost importance to study the floral richness of the area and preferences of honey bees for nectar and pollen in order to obtain maximum production of a good quality of honey. Thus, the present work was carried out to determine the critical analysis of honey samples and to identify the different pollen types which are major plant sources that contribute to the increase of yield of honey.
Methods: Melissopalynological studies were conducted between 2009 to 2012. Reference pollen slides of honey samples were prepared and identified. Quantative analysis is done with the help of a haemocytometer and pollen spectra, absolute pollen count as well as percentage of pollen types were calculated. Reference slides were also prepared.
Result: Microscopic analysis yielded that in honey samples, 5 pollen types were present as predominant; 17 were secondary, while, 38 were important minor and minor pollen sources. Out of 12 honey samples analysed, 5 were unifloral, whereas, 7 were multifloral. In the unifloral honeys, the predominant sporomorphs were: Prunus cerasoides, Eriobotrya japonica, Prinsepia utilis, Plectranthus sp. and Solidago sp. Forty four pollen types were necteriferous, while, 6 were nectarless represented by Cannabis sativa, Juglans regia, Rumex nepalensis, Polygonum sp. and Zea mays. Among different plant families, Lamiaceae (8), Asteraceae (7), Rosaceae (7), Fabaceae (4), Polygonaceae (3) and Apiaceae (2) highly contributed for nectar and pollen sources of honey bee. Twenty five botanical families with 50 different pollen taxa were identified indicating the various plants visited by honeybees and the sources of nectar used in the production of honey. The high concentration and diversity of pollen types showed that the samples were of botanical origin.
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