The Melliferous Potential of Forest and Meadow Plant Communities on Mount Tara (Serbia)
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The apiflora of 34 forest and meadow plant communities in Tara National Park was studied with the aim of assessing their melliferous potential and their contribution to bee pasture during the vegetation period. The melliferous plants were analyzed individually from the aspect of their flowering phenology, abundance, and the intensity of nectar and pollen production, as well as the production of honeydew. The melliferous potential of each investigated plant community was theoretically assessed on the basis of the coenotic coefficient of melliferousness incorporating a phytocoenotic analysis, the coenotic coefficients of nectar and pollen production, and the percentage of melliferous species in relation to the total number of species that characterize the association. The highest percentage of the melliferous species was noted in the meadow association Petasitetum hybridi (70%) and the forest association Piceetum-Abietis serpentinicum (63.6%). The highest values of the coenotic coefficient of melliferousness were established for the forest association Querco-Carpinetum iliricum, and the meadow association Rhinantho-Cynosuretum cristati. Trees notable for their honeydew production in good quantities were Pinus nigra Arnold, Picea sp. Fagus sylvatica Linnaeus, Populus tremula Linnaeus, and Quercus cerris Linnaeus. Because, the vegetation in the study area is forest dominated, forest bee pasture including early flowering herbaceous and woody plants, is of the greatest significance for the honey bee, both in the early spring because of pollen and nectar production, and in the autumn as a source of honeydew.