Agricultura técnica en México
versão impressa ISSN 0568-2517
REYES-CARRILLO, José Luis et al. Spatial and temporal distribution of honeybee foragers in a cantaloupe field with different colony densities. Agric. Téc. Méx [online]. 2006, vol.32, n.1, pp. 39-44. ISSN 0568-2517.
A field trial was carried out in "La Laguna", a region in northern Mexico during the summer of 2003. The objective of this work was to determine the temporal and spatial honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) distribution in a commercial cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.) field with different colony densities. Starting in the second week after the onset of blooming, honeybee colony densities were increased by adding from one to five colonies per hectare one day before every observation day. Honeybee colonies were uniformly distributed adjacents to a cantaloupe field. In five randomly selected rows, transects 10 m long were marked at 25, 50, 75 and 100 m from the center of the apiary. Foraging bees were counted every 30 min from 7:30 to 19:30 h. Significant differences (p<0.001) in the number of pollinating honeybees were found among the evaluated distances, with the highest density at 50 m from the apiary (7.2a), intermediate number at 25 (6.6ab) and 75 m (6.7ab), and the lowest at 100 m (5.3c). The number of foraging honeybees varied temporally (p<0.0001), observing the highest density from 10:00 to 15:00 h, with a peak at 11:00 h. The number of colonies per hectare influenced honeybee density (p<0.0001). The maximum bee number per transect (6.08a) was observed with three colonies per hectare; therefore, this number of bee colonies is considered as the optimum number for cantaloupe pollination.
Palavras-chave : Cucumis melo L.; colony density; honeybee behavior; pollination.