Temporal variation in production and nutritional value of pollen used in the diet of Apis mellifera L. in a seasonal semideciduous forest

José Elton de Melo Nascimento, Breno Magalhães Freitas, Alípio José De Souza Pacheco Filho, Elzania Sales Pereira, Hiara Marques Meneses, José Everton Alves, Cláudia Inês da Silva
2019 Sociobiology  
The flora of mountain formations in the Caatinga biome is composed predominantly by semi-deciduous species with representatives of both Atlantic and Amazon forest. Information on the potential for bee pollen production of these species is limited. In this study we evaluated the potential of production, the temporal variation, the botanical origin and the nutritional value of bee pollen produced in a seasonal semideciduous forest in northeastern Brazil. We identified a total of 252 flowering
more » ... f 252 flowering plant species throughout the year. The diet of Apis mellifera consisted of 74 pollen types distributed in 58 genera and 27 families. We identified two production peaks of bee pollen, the highest occurring in the rainy season. Nutritional value considering crude protein, carbohydrates, lipids and mineral matter changed over the study period, with influence of rainfall on the dry matter level. Some taxonomic groups of plants showed a strong relationship with nutrients, suggesting that although the diet of A. mellifera is broadly diversified, this species devoted most of its pollen foraging effort on the genus Mimosa and the palm tree species of Attalea speciosa. The results show that the seasonal semideciduous forest of the mountain range in the Northeast Brazil presents plant species: Mimosa caesalpiniifolia, Baccharis trinervis, Mimosa tenuiflora Myracrodruom urundeuva, Cecropia pachystachya, Attalea speciosa, with high nutritional level and potential for the pollen production.
doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v66i2.2879 fatcat:ikcn7r4z7raebpof2ixzjnt3bi