Abstract: This study examined the use of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as supplemental pollinators to bumble bees (Bombus occidentalis and B. impatiens) in large commercial tomato greenhouses. Small colonies of honey bees were moved into greenhouses already using bumble bees for pollination. Foraging levels were assessed by counting both honey and bumble bees throughout the day. Pollination was assessed by noting tomato flower bruising levels, and open flowers were tagged when honey bees were present or absent. Tomatoes were subsequently harvested and tomato weight and diameter measured to determine if honey bees contributed to an increase in pollination efficacy. This study revealed the potential contribution of honey bees to the commercial tomato greenhouse industry.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Bombidae Bombus spp (bumble bee)
Species 3: Solanaceae Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato)
Keywords: pollination, greenhouse tomatoes
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA