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Diagnosis of directed pollination services in apple orchards in Brazil

Diagnóstico dos serviços de polinização comercial em pomares de macieiras no brasil


The pollination services performed by Apis mellifera are essential for the high-quality apple production. The aim of this study was to obtain information about the pollination services used in the municipalities of Vacaria-RS e São Joaquim-SC, the main apple-producing regions in Brazil. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with apple growers and technicians responsible for the orchards during 2013 and 2015. The obtained information was: a) cropping systems; b) use of pollination services; c) number of hives per hectare during flowering; d) renting value of hives; e) mortality of colonies; f) agrochemicals used on flowering; g) presence of native bees on flowering. In Vacaria and São Joaquim, respectively, 70% and 68.6% of the apple growers use the integrated apple production as their production model. The directed pollination is used by 100% and 90.0% of respondents respectively, from which, 80% and 47.1% opt for the hive rent. On average, three hives were used per hectare in both regions. The average cost is U$ 17.52 and U$ 17.74 per hive, respectively. During the flowering period, insecticides and fungicides are used by 100% and 97.2% of the apple growers. The highest mean percentage of mortality of colonies during flowering was reported in Vacaria, 11.8%. Native bees are often found in apple flowers. The development of management strategies for the conservation of domestic and wild pollinators is essential.

Index terms
Apis mellifera; interview; Malus domestica; Pollination diagnosis

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