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The pollinating insects of some umbelliferae of agricultural and herbal interest angelica archangelica carum carvi petroselinum crispum apium graveolens pimpinella anisum daucus carota foeniculum vulgare var azoricum



The pollinating insects of some umbelliferae of agricultural and herbal interest angelica archangelica carum carvi petroselinum crispum apium graveolens pimpinella anisum daucus carota foeniculum vulgare var azoricum



Apidologie 17(2): 107-124



During 2 years (1982-1983) preliminary observations were carried out on the pollinating insects of some Umbelliferae of agricultural and herbal interest: angelica (Angelica archangelica), caraway (Carum carvi), parsley (Petroselinum crispum), celery (Apium graveolens), anise (Pimpinella anisum), carrot (Daucus carota) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare v. azoricum). These plants have been grown for several years in plots of the same dimensions (about 10 sq m), where no pesticide treatment has been made for a long time. In 1984, this study was continued: every two days the insects were caught and counted in order to determine the frequency and intensity of visits and also the representation of species. The observations were repeated during the whole period of flowering on small areas (1 m2), in different locations each time and reporting them as an area of 10 m2. Simultaneously the visits of insects on the surrounding flora were observed in order to value their attractiveness and competitiveness. The pre-eminent aim was to compare the pollinating role of wild insects with that of the honeybee. The results indicated that the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.), carries on a fair role as pollinator of Angelica archangelica (representativity 17.24%), while it is practically absent on the other Unmbelliferae. Consequently the wild insects (Syrphidae, Muscidae, Calliphoridae, Vespa germanica L., Andrena flavipes Panz., A. minutula K., A. ovatula K., Halictus fulvipes Klug, H. maculatus Smith, H. scabiosae Rossi, H. vestitus Lep., Lasioglossum interuptum Panz., Anthidium manicatum L.) are truly responsible for the cross-pollination of the Umbelliferae studied. They represent 82.76% of the pollinators present on angelica, 98.76 on caraway, 99.84% on parsley, 99.47% on celery, 98.12% on anise, 99.80% on carrot and 97.92% on fennel. Umbelliferae are very attractive for wild pollinators even in presence of a rich alternative flora; neverthelss the role of such pollinators should be verified on greater areas in which the visitation intensity would probably suffer a considerable decrease because of the dispersion of pollinators. Since the honeybee is a polylectic insect, its exploitation as pollinator is hypothetically possible only when competitive floral are absent and by increasing the number of hives per ha to a great extent.

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