Print version ISSN 0103-8478
COSTA, Augusto Jorge Cavalcante; GUIMARAES-DIAS, Fábia and PEREZ-MALUF, Raquel. Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) visitors of the annatto flowers in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia State, Brazil. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2008, vol.38, n.2, pp. 534-537. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782008000200039.
Annatto is a shrub from Bixaceae family, which natural pigment (annatto) is widely used in food and cosmetic industries. In Brazil, the interest for this crop started in the last fifteen years, once it became a promising agricultural alternative. This study was aimed at identifing visitor bees of annatto flowers at the agriculture region of Vitória da Conquista (BA). The research was carried out in the experimental field of UESB, in an experimental plot planted with the cv. Peruana Paulista. The visitor bees were collected during the main blooming period: March/April, between 6:00h and 18:00h. A total of 3,019 bees from 22 species was collected, with higher visitation during the period from 8:00 to 14:00h, regarding the number of individuals and species. The species most frequent were Trigona spinipes (Fabricius), Apis mellifera L., Schwarziana quadripunctata (Lepeletier) and Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille). Larger species as Xylocopa frontalis (Olivier), Bombus morio (Swederus) and Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier considered efficient pollinators of the urucum culture , were not abundant in the evaluated field.
Keywords : insect-plant interaction; diversity.