|Manual for Trainers of Small Scale Beekeeping Development Workers (Peace Corps, 1983, 392 p.)|
· This is a Trainee-facilitated session. See Session 7, "Bee Colony Cycle", for guidelines.
Melliferous plants and bees are the key components of any
beekeeping venture. It is important to understand the plant-bee interaction, as
well as the basic biology of the plant. The effects of this relationship on the
plant and the bee are examined and reviewed. This session provides
Trainees with the background to explore the beekeeping potential of an area, to recognize major bee-plant groups and determine the various major plant sources of honey.
· To examine basic floral anatomy.
· To discuss pollination and cross-pollination.
· To examine the role of the bee in plant pollination.
· To examine the characteristics of a "good" honey plant.
- Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants, pp. 1-18,
- Source Materials for Apiculture #3.
- A Book of Honey, pp. 7-38.
- Tropical Legumes: Resources for the Future
- Beekeeping in the United States, pp. 73-77, 107-118.
- Firewood Crops: Shrubs and Tree Species for Energy Production
- The Hive and the Honey Bee, Chapters 8, 9 and 20.
- Forestry Training Manual, Session 32.
- Exotic Plants for House and Garden
- The Dancing Bees, Chapters 3, 8 and 9.
hand lens, unlabeled schematic drawing of a flower, different examples of "bee attractive" plants (or pictures or slides), unlabeled schematic drawing
Step 1: Floral Anatomy (30 minutes)
Pass out a flower to each Trainee. Have each Trainee examine their flower and identify the various anatomical structures. Explain and discuss the structures. Post the schematic drawing and have the group label the various floral structures.
Touch on the fact that the Leguminosae and Compositae plant families contain major beeplants in most parts of the world. Discuss, through the use of examples or pictures, the important characteristics which distinguish these families.
· Resources for the schematic drawing are The Hive and the Honey Bee, p. 585; A Book of Honey, p. 20; Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants, p. 9; Beekeeping in the United States, p. 108-114.
· Do not allow this step to become too academic. Allow the interests and needs of the group to determine the amount of detail necessary.
Step 2: Field Excursion (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Direct a "nature walk". Encourage the Trainees to observe, examine and share their questions and observations with the group. While on the walk have the Trainees:
- collect, dissect and identify floral structures, using a hand lens
- define plant pollination and cross pollination
- examine the role of the bee in the pollinating process
- identify bees collecting nectar and pollen
- discuss factors which make flowers attractive to bees
- outline the multi-purpose use of plants and
- find and identify Composites and Legumes.
Encourage interested Trainees to collect, examine and identify plants used by bees throughout the training program and to share their observations with the group.
Step 3: Session Evaluation (15 minutes)
· See Steps 5 and 6 of Session 7, "Bee Colony Cycle".