Studies on the phenology of Marchalina hellenica (Gen.) (Hemiptera: Coccoidea, Margarodidae) in relation to honeydew flow
Pine honey is produced widely in Greece and Turkey and represents almost 60–65% of the annual honey production in Greece. It is made from the honeydew eliminated by the scale insect Marchalina hellenica (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Margarodidae) when feeding on Pinus halepensis (allepo pine) and P. brutia (calabrian pine). M. hellenica has one generation a year, with the adult females appearing on trees at the end of March or in April, depending on temperatures in February and March. Female M. hellenica have three nymphal instars, but the adult females have no mouthparts and do not feed. There are three periods of honeydew production which can exploited by bees: in early spring, coinciding with the spring feeding period of the 3rd instar (which can last from 20 to 40 days depending on weather conditions), in August and September when the late 1st instar nymphs are feeding, and in October and November when the 2nd instars are feeding and which can last 15–30 days. Although honeydew appears in small quantities from the end of June, it does not become sufficient for exploitation until early autumn. The three periods of moult coincide with three periods of reduced honeydew production. In recent years the quantity of honeydew has become unreliable, causing concern to beekeepers. The reasons for this unreliability are unknown. The present paper presents almost three years of data on the phenology of M. hellenica, with observations on the production of honeydew at each stage of development.
Marchalina hellenica, Margarodidae, Pinus spp., pine honey, soft scale insects, life history, honeydew, temperature