Botanical Preferences of Africanized Bees (Apis mellifera) on the Coast and in the Atlantic Forest of Sergipe, Brazil
Keywords:palynology, food preferences, honey, pollen
Pollen analysis in honey can be used as an alternative method to research
into flowers visited by bees in an area. This study aimed to indentify the main
floral families in honey from apiaries in the Atlantic Forest and Sergipe state
coast. Honey samples from these apiaries were studied, as well as plants that
grow around them, which can be used as a source of foraging for bees. The
palynological technique was used to compare the pollen content of honey
samples with the pollen grains from leaves of plants found in the vicinity
of the apiaries to assess whether they had been visited by bees. The results
of studies in both sites were similar in terms of incompatibility of families
found in the apiary vicinity and honey. Thus, it was possible to observe that
in honey samples from the coast and in the remaining Atlantic forest, the
number of families was greater than the number of families found in the
apiary vicinity, which highlights the diversity of plants visited by bees and a
possible expansion of the visited area for food search. This diversity suggests
an adaptive foraging behavior to plant resources available in the environment,
which may facilitate the pollination of these botanical families and
consequently improve their genetic quality.
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