Introducing nests of the oil-collecting bee Centris analis (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Centridini) for pollination of acerola (Malpighia emarginata) increases yield
This study aimed to test the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing trap nests inhabited by the oil-collecting bee Centris (Heterocentris) analis on increasing productivity of organic orchards of acerola (Malpighia emarginata). Trap nest blocks containing 242 nests of C. analis were placed on the border of 22 orchards of four acerola varieties and monitored over the blooming season. Results were compared to other 22 orchards without bee introduction and showed an increment of 62 % in the number of trap nests inhabited by C. analis and acerola yield was significantly higher in the orchards where bees were introduced, independently of variety. The increase in productivity was 1,798 kg/ha. It was concluded that the introduction of inhabited nests of C. analis to acerola orchards allows multiplying populations of C. analis; to increase the number of bees and to reduce pollination deficits in acerola orchards; and can provide real gains in productivity of acerola commercial plantations.
Keywordsbee rearing crop pollination pollination deficit solitary bees trap nests
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