, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 537-546
Date: 10 Apr 2013

Stingless bees, Melipona fasciculata, as efficient pollinators of eggplant (Solanum melongena) in greenhouses

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Abstract

Detailed studies of the behavior of pollinators allow insights into pollination mechanisms and may indicate which pollinators are more efficient for a particular plant species. Our aim was to evaluate if Melipona fasciculata is an efficient pollinator of eggplant (Solanum melongena L., Solanaceae) in greenhouses. We analyzed (1) the colony foraging pattern of M. fasciculata in greenhouses, (2) the behavior of bees during the visits to flowers, and (3) fruit set and fruit quality after different pollination treatments (hand pollination: autogamy, geitonogamy, xenogamy; bee pollination). Our results show that M. fasciculata is an efficient pollinator of eggplants and, consequently, may be a viable alternative to bumblebees in Brazil.

Manuscript editor: Klaus Hartfelder