Density of hives of africanized honeybees Apis mellifera L. 1758 (hymenoptera: apidae) to pollinate apple cv. Anna

In order to determine the number of hives per hectare for apple pollination, 5 hives of africanized bees, with ca. 35,000 bees each, labeled with radiophosphorus, were taken to an orchard, one at a time, every 2 days. A circular area of 100 meters diameter (0,8ha), was marked every 10 m from the center to the limit (50m), in two perpendicular directions (cross-shape) pointing out to North-South and East-West directions. The honeybees were collected on apple flowers for 10 min a day during a 10 day period. The experimental area (0.8 ha) was saturated with bees from 5 hives and there was no significant diference between the average number of collected bees with 2, 3, 4 and 5 hives. Consequently, the ideal number of hives per hectare of apple orchard is 2.5 taking into consideration the tested population.

honeybee; density; pollination; apple tree

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