Honey bees' pollination of sunflower resulted in increased yield — experts

As part of the experiment in 2019 in one of the fields of the production module Rogatyn of Zakhid-Agro MHP company, pollination of sunflower by honey bees increased yield by 0.3-0.5 t/ha from the average for the module. The average yield of this crop in Rogatyn totals 3.6 t/ha, whereas on the test plot 4.07 t/ha, Kurkul.com writes.

"The total area of the field is 115 ha. In addition to higher yields, bees have had a positive impact on the fullness of seeds and oil content," said Andriy Yurchenko, land surveyor of the Department of Development, Land Policy and Property Relations at MHP.

Experts used one honey-bee colony per hectare of sunflower crops. Taking into account the need for pollination of crops in the fields, MHP develops industrial beekeeping. Currently, there are two apiaries in the agricultural holding with more than 400 honey-bee colonies.

More than 100,000 bee colonies are required for effective pollination of all sunflower and rapeseed grown in the MHP fields.

Head of the Rogatyn module Petro Bazhyk noted that last year it sunflower yielded rather high due to several factors including:

  • the weather conditions were favourable: timely precipitation and no serious moisture deficit;
  • correctly chosen and performed agronomic operations (density of crops, timely treatment, etc.).

"If there's an apiary in the field and bees don't bring honey to the hives, the likelihood of a good harvest shrinks dramatically. If there is enough honey in the hive, it means that the weather conditions for nectar excretion were favourable, the bee flew into the field, thus the pollination was quality," said the expert.

As of May 28, sunflower sowing in Ukraine progressed to 97%.Sunflower production in Ukraine and worldwide (click for full resolution)

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