Accepted 17th March, 2016
Identification of nectar and pollen source and the establishment of flowering calendar are important steps in beekeeping development program. Honey samples pollen analysis was carried out following the methods adopted Louveaux (1978). The Social survey and Pollen analysis showed that Eucalyptus, Bahirzaff, Coffee Arabica, Guizotia, Grawa, Vernonia and Lipidium are the major honeybee source plants. Pollen analysis of honey also showed that Triffolium species, Adey Abeba, clover, Birbira, Acacia species, pisum sativum and grass species are minor pollen sources in the area. The result of the respondent farmers, Woreda experts, and Kebele development agents also indicated that this 14 honeybee plants were commonly identified as pollen source plants for honeybees. Some of the honey plants assessed with the respondents are similar with the honey plants identified through pollen analysis from honey samples. From analysis interview it was possible to identify different flowering season with two honey-harvesting seasons in the area. The major honey-harvesting season begins in Sidama zone from September to October as well as from May to June, and in Gedeo zone it is from January to February and June to August. This is because most of Gedeo areas are covered by with forest trees, herbaceous flora of weeds cultivated crops and shrubs. The trees, herbs and shrubs play major role for honey production with tree species dominate by bearing Bee flora yearly and therefore beekeeping should be integrated with the vegetation conservation for livelihood improvement and food security and income earnings from the sector. Existence of different sorts of flora across all the year, suitable agro -ecology for apiaries, availability of natural forest in almost all the study areas are some of major potential that encourage sectors improvement in the region. Even if there are some basic constraints that have to be taken a due considerations such as lack of improved honey bee flora and improved apiculture equipments, prevalence of honey bee enemies, limitation of introduced technologies to the sites; the existing potential could make the study area one of the model apiary site in not only in the region but also in the country level.
Keywords: Honey bee, flora resources, Sidama and Gedeo zones, Ethiopia