Inventory of managed honey bee population in Zhytomyr region (Ukraine)
Over the last decades, the number of honey bee colonies in the world has been declining. A honey bee is the most important pollinator in agriculture. According to estimates, such a situation can threaten the food security of humanity. The purpose was to investigate the specific aspects of the managed honey bee population in Zhytomyr region. The population dynamics, number, and density were determined. For this purpose the statistics of the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine on the number of bee colonies by categories of producers in Ukraine and Zhytomyr region were used. It was established that in Zhytomyr region over the past quarter century, the population of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) has increased by 2 times up to 193.4 thousand colonies. During the same period, the number of bee colonies in Ukraine has increased by 1.4 times. At present, Zhytomyr region is a leader in the state in the development of the beekeeping industry. Eight percent of all honey bee colonies in the country are concentrated here. In the Zhytomyr region, the density of honey bee population is one of the highest in Ukraine. 82 colonies are concentrated here on one conditional pasture area (1256 hectares), with 7 colonies per 100 hectares of land. In Ukraine, these indicators are 52 and 4 respectively. The distribution of bee colonies in the region is uneven. The vast majority of colonies (58.5%) are concentrated in the Polissia. There are from 1 to 18 colonies per 100 hectares of land in each of the units in the region, on the conditional pasture area from 16 to 224. The results of these studies are relevant for the commodity apiaries for the rational use of honey flow and to make a well-considered decision on the prospect of increasing the number of bee colonies. Further work will be aimed at the investigation into the melliferous base and the calculation of the feed balance of the beekeeping industry in Zhytomyr region.