The plants that yield both pollen and nectar are called bee pasturage. However, honey bees gather nectar, pollen, propolis and water as their food. Nectar is a sweet secretion from the floral and extra floral nectarines of blossoms. It is the basic raw product of honey. It consists of dissolved sugar i.e. sucrose, glucose and fructose. The plants that produce nectar only are called bee forage. Pollen is a highly proteinaceous food for bees. The plants that produce only pollen are called pollen plants. Pollen being completely independent plant cell, contains the substances which make up a living cell, and is therefore very good bee food. It provides the bees all their requirements of amino-acids, vitamins and minerals.
The broad description of bee pasturage explains what is meant by suitability of various regions for bee keeping based on its nectar and pollen potential. The evaluation of the nectar potential of your locality can be done by asking following questions.
More the number of blossom periods in a year in an area greater will be the potential for beekeeping. Even if the number of blossoming periods are few but the duration is longer that favours beekeeping. Whether bees are visiting for pollen or nectar can be noted by observing the bees on the flowers or on the entrance of hive. This observation can provide us the type of flowering plants (nectar bearing or pollen bearing or both) in an area at a particular period of the year and also whether the bees are more in need of pollen or nectar or both. Area with special crops having more nectar or pollen has a higher suitability for beekeeping. Similarly areas with more varieties of nectar secreting natural flower has a high favorable condition for beekeeping.
Shorter the dearth period greater will be the bee pasturage. Areas close to (within 2-6, km) nectar and pollen bearing plant and crops are suitable for beekeeping. Finally the favourable weather conditions such as temperature between 15o to 35°C wind speed less than 30 km per hour, clear sunny days are favourable for bee pasturage. Too cold, hot and rain days prevent bee from pasturage.