Effect of Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Pollination on Yields and other Yield Parameters of Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus L.)

Taye Beyene


Insect pollinators are essential in increasing seed set of many flower and fruit crops; as well as the quality of seed or fruit, early flowering, oil content, pyrethrin content, rubber content and the amount of lavender oil. As a result the need for insect pollination is becoming popular by agricultural community to increase the productivity of crops. This study was conducted at Adami Tulu Agricultural Research Center for three successive years to see the role of managed honeybee pollination on yields and other yield parameters of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) and to identify potential pollinators of watermelon other than honeybees. To this effect, nine plots of 4 by 6 m of land were prepared. The plots were grouped into three treatment groups with three replications. In the first group plots caged with mesh for intensive pollination. The second plots were caged with mesh without any pollinator, while the third plots were left open to be pollinated under natural conditions. The results of the study showed that the yield obtained from plots pollinated by honeybee was superior with the mean yield of 57472 kg/hectare followed by plots left open under natural conditions with the mean yield of 38361 kg/hectare. The lowest mean yield of 22472 kg/hectare was recorded for the plots excluded any pollinator. The results also revealed that honeybee pollination increases watermelon fruit yield by 91% over natural pollination. Therefore, moving honeybee colonies to watermelon farm during the flowering period is one of the most essential inputs to maximize watermelon production and quality.

Keywords: Watermelon, pollinators, honeybees, fruit yield

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/10-20-02

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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