Importance of bee pollination for cotton production in conventional and organic farms in Brazil
By Viviane C. Pires et al.
Native bee on a cotton flower
Cotton production is not entirely dependent on insect pollination, but
can be increased by bee visits to the cotton flower. In Brazil, this
bee-generated yield increase is poorly studied and, for this reason, is
ignored, especially in conventional plantations. In this production system,
soil preparation is mechanized and insecticide is intensively employed,
especially during flowering. These practices reduce bee nesting and foraging in
and around the cotton fields, and bee benefits may not be noticeable. On the
other hand, in organic farms, where mechanization and insecticide use are
minimized, the yield increase promoted by bees is evident and helps making this
production system economically viable for smallholding.