ABSTRACT

Melissopalynology, the analysis of pollen grains present in honey, provides relevant information about the pollen and nectar sources in a region utilised by bees for the production of honey, which is used to determine the geographical and botanical origin of the honey. The present investigation is carried out on 20 winter honey samples collected from urban localities of Allahabad to identify the important source plants of the region. The methodology recommended by the International Commission of Bee Botany was followed. Analysis of 20 honey samples recorded a diversity of 62 pollen types, amongst which 49 pollen types were found to originate from entomophilous/amphiphilous taxa, and 13 from anemophilous taxa. Thirteen honey samples were found to be unifloral while the remaining seven samples were multifloral. Brassica campestris, Ageratum conyzoides, Bombax ceiba and Citrus sp. were the predominant pollen types. Fourteen pollen types were recorded in the secondary frequency class, while 27 and 50 pollen types were found in important minor and minor frequency classes, respectively. With regard to the frequency of occurrence of pollen types in honey samples, Brassica campestris, Ageratum conyzoides and Coriandrum sativum were found to be very frequent pollen types as they were recovered from more than 50% of the honey samples. Findings of the present melissopalynological study suggest Brassica campestris, Ageratum conyzoides, Bombax ceiba, Citrus sp. and Coriandrum sativum are the important source plants of Allahabad.

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