Occurrence and status of bee-eaters, Merops spp. (Coraciiformes: Meropidae), and their attacks on honey bee colonies in Kerbala Province, Iraq

Written by
Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 53 (4) pp. 478-488
DOI

10.3896/IBRA.1.53.4.04
Date

September 2014
Article Title

Occurrence and status of bee-eaters, Merops spp. (Coraciiformes: Meropidae), and their attacks on honey bee colonies in Kerbala Province, Iraq
Author(s)

Murtadha K Glaiim
Abstract

This study investigated the frequency of visits by bee-eaters, Merops spp., and their attacks on honey bee colonies in Iraq during 2010-2011. The blue-cheeked bee-eater, M. persicus, was a common summer breeder at the study site in Kerbala province, 100 km southwest of Baghdad. The European bee-eater, M. apiaster, was a passage migrant only during the spring. Between the first arrival of these birds in the spring and the end of the major honey bee activity period (around early July), attacks by M. persicus on apiaries were negligible in both years. There were few attacks by M. apiaster on apiaries in 2010, but in 2011, M. apiaster made a remarkable number of attacks on many days. Unstable weather conditions in Spring 2011 may have caused this high number of M. apiaster attacks, but they only lasted for a relatively short period. During its post–breeding season, the rates of attacks by M. persicus on apiary were much greater than those recorded earlier.

Keywords

blue-cheeked bee-eater, European bee-eater, honey bee, Iraq
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