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Pesquisa Agropecuária Tropical

On-line version ISSN 1983-4063


LOPES, Maria Teresa do Rêgo et al. Alternative apiaries shading. Pesqui. Agropecu. Trop. [online]. 2011, vol.41, n.3, pp.299-305. ISSN 1983-4063.

Beehives shading can be a strategy to minimize the heat stress suffered by bees in tropical regions such as the Northeastern Brazil. So, the objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of different beehives shading conditions on the development and quality of honey produced in Apis mellifera colonies. The experiment was carried out in an apiary owned by the Embrapa Meio-Norte, in Castelo do Piauí, Piauí State, Brazil. Bee colonies were placed under the shade provided by straw, polypropylene screen (80% shading), and trees, and under direct solar radiation, in a completely randomized design, with six replications. Data concerning beehives weight and breeding and feeding areas were analyzed by using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Honey samples collected from beehives were submitted to chemical analyses, in order to determine hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), acidity, and diastase activities. It was observed that the artificial covers did not provide significant beneficial effects on the colonies development. Thermoregulation was impaired in the beehives kept under polypropylene screen and those directly exposed to the sun, in the dry season. The arboreal shading provided the faster development for the breeding area and the straw and arboreal shadings favored the maintenance of lower HMF levels in the honey.

Keywords : Apis mellifera L; thermal environment; honeybee colonies; honey quality.

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