# 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.