28 February, 2014

Blue Orchard Bees and Apple: A Winning Combination

by Cory S. Sheffield

A male Blue Orchard Bee at rest at a nest entrance.
Apple is one of our most commonly grown and prized horticultural crops, having been cultivated for 1000’s of years, with at least 2000 cultivars having been developed.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” evidences our appreciation of this crop, and it is one of our most studied crop plants.  However, despite our knowledge, there are still several things we are not clear on, particularly in the area of pollination and the resulting quality of fruit.

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.

Forest remnants enhance wild pollinator visits to cashew flowers and mitigate pollination deficit in NE Brazil

by Breno M. Freitas, Alípio J. S. Pacheco Filho, Patrícia B. Andrade, Camila Q. Lemos, Epifânia E. M. Rocha, Natália O. Pereira, Antonio D. M. Bezerra, David S. Nogueira, Ramayanno L. Alencar, Roberto F. Rocha, Keniesd S. Mendonça

Centris flavifrons on cashew flowers in Brazil.
The cashew nut is one of the most traded nuts in the world and important source of income to small holders in tropical countries of Central and South America, Africa and Asia. But there is evidence that pollination deficit is causing low yields in cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and it is possible that deforestation surrounding cashew plantations may prevent effective pollinators from visiting cashew flowers and contribute to this deficit. In the present work, we investigated the proximity effect of small and large forest fragments on the abundance and flower visits by feral Apis mellifera and wild native pollinators to cashew flowers and their interactions with yield in cashew plantations in NE Brazil. 

Read the whole summary in: English or Portuguese!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.