Original scientific paper

Nectar secretion and honey production potential of Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) cultivars

2023, 24 (3)   p. 634-642

Saša Prđun, Maja Dražić, Dragan Bubalo


This is the first reported study aimed at nectar secretion of Satsuma mandarin cultivars from Croatia. The study was conducted in 2014-2016 on four cultivars: Kawano Wase, Okitsu, Chahara and Zorica. Nectar was collected at six measurements per day at two-hour intervals (8:00-18:00) for a total of 12 days. The mean values of nectar quantity per flower were higher in Okitsu (23.41 μL) and Kawano Wase (22.79 μL) cultivars and were not statistically different (P > 0.05) from the other cultivars, while a significant difference (P < 0.05) was found in Chahara (21.60 μL) cultivar compared to Zorica (20.01 μL). Secreted nectar ranged from a minimum of 5.00 μL to a maximum of 75.00 μL among the studied cultivars. When comparing sugar concentration by cultivars, the lowest concentration was found in the cultivar Zorica (18.43%) and differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the others, while the mean values of the studied parameter in the cultivars Okitsu (20.35%), Kawano Wase (20.66%) and Chahara (20.17%) did not differ significantly (P > 0.05). The average sugar content in flowers of all Satsuma mandarin cultivars ranged from 4.13 mg to 4.96 mg. Sugar yield ranged from 240.8 kg/ha to 289.2 kg/ha and honey yield ranged from 301 kg/ha to 361.5 kg/ha. The present study shows that the studied cultivars of Satsuma mandarin are very attractive to honey bees due to the large number of flowers producing a large amount of nectar and that the Neretva Valley is a very good area for the production of this rare unifloral type of honey.


Citrus unshiu, nectar secretion, honey yield, Croatia

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