Pollination Services Provided by Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in Greenhouses with Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae)

Authors

  • Bruno Ferreira Bartelli Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Fernanda Helena Nogueira-Ferreira Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.510-516

Keywords:

stingless bee, horticulture, fruit set, quality

Abstract

Stingless bees are considered particularly promising for use as commercial pollinators, but studies testing the effectiveness of these bees in pollinating grape tomatoes in greenhouses have not yet been made. This study aimed to analyse the floral biology of the grape tomato and evaluate whether additional pollination performed by Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier, 1836 generates an effective increase in production and improves the quality of this variety of tomato when grown in greenhouses. The research was conducted in two greenhouses located in Araguari, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. In one, we only used a mechanical method of pollination and, in the other, pollination by the mechanical method was associated with pollination performed by the bees. The productivity of the greenhouses was compared by recording the number of flowers and fruits formed on different branches, and the quality of the tomatoes was assessed by analysing their size, weight, number of seeds and total sugar content. Tomatoes originating from flowers visited by M. quadrifasciata workers produced about 47% more seeds and their concentration of sugar was approximately 14% higher. These results suggest that using M. quadrifasciata for tomato pollination shows promise, since positive effects were generated on fruit quality.

Author Biographies

Bruno Ferreira Bartelli, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Instituto de Biologia

Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Fernanda Helena Nogueira-Ferreira, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Instituto de Biologia

Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

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Published

2014-12-29

How to Cite

Bartelli, B. F., & Nogueira-Ferreira, F. H. (2014). Pollination Services Provided by Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in Greenhouses with Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae). Sociobiology, 61(4), 510–516. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.510-516

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Section

Research Article - Bees

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