Modern farming techniques have increased the crop yield, but natural habitats of the pollinator were destroyed, affecting their populations compared to native vegetation. A simple, low-cost, and efficient way to determine the presence of insecticide residues from farming is the honeybee as a bioindicator. However in Brazil, there is another species of bee, the stingless bees. The insecticide toxicity analyses the beneficial insect species as pollinators which are performed to the Apis mellifera. Stingless bees are native to tropical and subtropical zones, and they are more sensitive to pesticides than honeybees. We present some results of contamination in these bees compared to Africanized honeybees, and pose an important question: Why does the pesticide industry not make assays with stingless bees too? When insecticides were in larger concentrations, bees did not feed. When the concentration of the insecticide was smaller, Africanized honeybees consumed the polluted honey, resulting in the death of some. Finally, we report several experiments concerning honeybees, and mainly stingless bees, and the effect of pesticides in them; results show stingless bees are more sensitive than honeybees. Our Bee Research Group studied this point, and we hope to contribute for understanding this relation between bee, pesticide, and environment.
Part of the book: Herbicides
Rapeseed (Brassica napus L. var. oleifera) is an oleaginous species of the Brassicaceae family, being the third most produced oleaginous in the world. Rapeseed can produce fruits and seeds from both self-pollination and cross-pollination. However, cross-pollination rate is approximately 30% and may suffer variations due to the abundance and diversity of pollinator insects, cultivar and meteorological conditions. Different researchers have reported that pollination by insects, especially Apis mellifera honeybee, on rapeseed flowers provides an increase in productivity, improving yield and contributing to the uniformity and initial pod establishment. It is estimated that the economic value of A. mellifera honeybees for rapeseed cultivation in Brazil is US$ 8.2 million. The objective of this chapter is gathering data for a compilation of information regarding rapeseed culture and the importance of A. mellifera in Brassica napus pollination.
Part of the book: Brassica Germplasm
Beekeeping is an economic activity of the Brazilian agricultural sector and a powerful tool to achieve sustainable development. However, beekeeping still remains a modest activity compared to other areas, with a lack of technical knowledge and beekeeping practices that need to be standardized. This study represents a proposal for the diagnosis of beekeeping, to facilitate decision-making and to provide a faster development of the beekeeping activity. We investigated the process of adoption of beekeeping practices of 28 beekeepers and the quality of the honey produced by them in the Western region of Paraná, using the technique of Principal Components Analysis after the construction of apicultural indexes. Specifically, the honey produced in the Western region of Paraná be included in the requirements of national and international legislation, but the beekeeping practices adopted still require standardization so that the beekeepers have higher honey production. Also, the transformation of variables into apicultural indexes for later use in the analysis of principal components proved to be efficient to draw a beekeeping profile. Our research proves to be efficient in accurately diagnosing beekeeping bottlenecks, which may enable better decision-making and thus attract new entrepreneurs and increase their relevance to achieve sustainable rural development.
Part of the book: Insect Science
In addition to being used as food, honey has been used as an alternative medicine for thousands of years. Honey has a great potential to be used as a medicine because it is not suitable for micro-organisms, it is very acidic and has a very high sugar content, which causes an osmotic effect that prevents the growth of some micro-organisms, moreover, in some honey, hydrogen peroxide is found, which has a strong antibacterial effect. However, properties and appearances of honey vary greatly according to the floral source in which the bee collects the nectar, so some honey also have a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Recently, there are several studies, mainly in vitro, that prove the effectiveness of honey for various medical purposes due to its components and its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancer properties.
Part of the book: Honey Analysis