METEOROLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON SOME MELLIFEROUS PLANT SPECIES: NECTAR NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION AND HONEY YIELD IN MANGROVE VEGETATION ZONE OF AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA.
Meteorological influences on the nutritional composition of the nectar of selected melliferous plant species and impact on honey yield were studied for 36 months in the mangrove vegetation in Akwa Ibom state Nigeria. Nectar of selected melliferous plants was collected randomly for three years (2015-2017) and from the vegetation zone during dry and rainy seasons. Climatic factors such as Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature, Solar Radiation (mm), Mean Daily Evaporation (mm), Wind speed (ms-1) Rainfall (mm) and humidity) data of the study area were also recorded from Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) station in Eket LGA. Samples were taken in the early and later stages of flowering and the plants selected for the study were Helicteres ixora, Musa paradisiaca, and Costus afer. Nectar was extracted from the flowers directly, using a 10 μl capillary tube from the floral cup of 200-3000 flowers of melliferous plants. Finding from this study showed higher concentrations of vitamins and sugar in the nectar of melliferous plant species in the dry season than in raining season suggesting a possible impact of high temperature and radiation on increased nectar production.
Nectar, Nutritional Composition, Melliferous plants, Climatic factors
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