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Willows communities as vital feed base for the beekeeping in the Middle Lena River Valley

A.P. Efimova*
DOI 10.31242/2618-9712-2022-27-1-119-129

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Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone SB RAS, Yakutsk, Russia
*[email protected]

Received 11.03.2021
Accepted 23.12.2021

Citation
Efimova A.P. Willows communities as vital feed base for the beekeeping in the Middle Lena River Valley // Arctic and Subarctic Natural Resources. 2022, Vol. 27, No. 1. P. 119–129. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/ 10.31242/2618-9712-2022-27-1-119-129

Abstract. The article discusses the results of the study of willow communities as a feed base for beekeeping in the valley of the middle course of the Lena River (Central Yakutia). We investigated the flowering phenophases, morphology, quantitative characteristics of generative organs and nectariferous of willow species. Economically valuable factors in the willow honey collection of the studied forage base are represented by the annual early flowering of the willows almost independent of weather and hydrological conditions, abundant nectar production and pollen production even at low temperatures. These biological features of willows are vital for building up the strength of bee colonies after wintering and accumulation of honey. In the valley of the Middle River Lena, intensive willow honey collection lasts from the 5th of May to the 20th of May (with a possible shift from 1 to 5 days). Notably the willow nectar collection has the highest volume. It is provided mainly by 5 species of willow from a high floodplain, while 5 other species are of supporting importance because of their low mass. We have established that the possible volumes of the nectar for 15 (20) days of willow flowering in the studied forage area can be calculated in tons. General honey collection is limited by subsequent summer periods, when willows fade and other, less massive and less productive plant species start flourishing. We recommend artificial planting of late-flowering male species to maximize the period of willow honey collection. To increase the food supply for bees and compensate for intercrop periods in the study area, we propose to create plant nurseries for berry and ornamental shrubs, and sow local grass and zoned honey plants.

Keywords: willow, bee-keeping forage base, honey-bearing, bee-bread, Middle Lena, Central Yakutia.

Acknowledgements. The research was carried out under the project “Vegetation cover of the cryolithozone of the taiga Yakutia: biodiversity, habitat-forming functions, protection and rational use” (topic FWRS-2021-0023, EGISU NIOKTR number AAAA-A21-121012190038-0).


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