Abstract

Little information about the contribution of plants to the production of honey by bees exists for southern Brazil. Information on this dynamic is crucial to maintaining the health of bees, the pollination of forests and assisting in the management of apiaries and meliponaries. The objective of the study was to elucidate which plants the bees visit for the production of honey in Rio Grande do Sul (RS), southern Brazil. 43 honey samples were selected from Apis mellifera, Tetragonisca angustula, Melipona quadrifasciata, Scaptotrigona bipunctata, Plebeia remota and Plebeia droryana. The honey samples were submitted to acetolysis. 110 pollen types were found in all honey samples from bees of Apis mellifera (97 pollen types), Melipona quadrifasciata quadrifasciata (14 pollen types), Tetragonisca angustula (46 pollen types), Scaptotrigona bipunctata (8 pollen types), Plebeia remota (17 pollen types) and Plebeia droryana (8 pollen types). The high pollen percentage of tree species in the samples stands out, ranging from 16.8% to 99.8%. The samples were grouped into seven groups by CONISS, called Melis-1, Melis-2, Melis-3, Melis-4, Melis-5, Melis-6 and Melis 7, and these are related to the floral resources of the studied bees. Some pollen types showed high percentages in honeys from Apis mellifera (pollen types of Eucalyptus sp. Myrcia type, Casearia sylvestris, Hovenia dulcis, Mimosa scabrella, Lamanonia ternata, Clethra scabra, Baccharis type and Weinmannia paulliniifolia), Tetragonisca angustula (pollen types of Eryngium sp./Petroselinum crispum, Handroanthus sp., Sorocea bonplandii and Parapiptadenia rigida), Melipona quadrifasciata quadrifasciata (pollen types of Myrcia type, Eucalyptus sp. and Mimosa bimucronata), Scaptotrigona bipunctata (pollen types of Allophylus edulis, Butia type and Parapiptadenia rigida), Plebeia remota (pollen types of Myrcia type, Butia type and Sebastiania sp.) and Plebeia droryana (pollen types of Myrcia type). The different types of vegetation in RS accounts for the different pollen spectra in honeys from southern Brazil.

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