Bees as a Tool for Agricultural Production

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 March 2024 | Viewed by 664

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. David De Jong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Genetics Department, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo (FMRP/USP), Ribeirão Preto 14049-900, SP, Brazil
Interests: pollination; bee pathology; Varroa mites; Africanized bees; bee nutrition; propolis; small hive beetles; bee genetics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bees are a useful tool for agriculture, as they can enhance crop yield and value. Even self-fertile crops that apparently do not need bees, such as Arabica coffee, have increased and better-quality production when these pollinators are included. Adequately pollinated fruits and vegetables tend to be more uniform in size and shape, improving their market value. Additionally, well-pollinated produce has a better flavor and improved nutritional properties. Incorporating bees as an agricultural input may require changes in pest control strategies; however, as increases in crop value become apparent, farmers will adjust and be willing to test alternative control measures. Additionally, decreased use of pesticides to protect the bees will decrease residues in food and lessen the effect of these agricultural chemicals on the environment. Paradoxically, grower manuals often neglect to include information about pollination as an agricultural input, even for crops for which there is considerable evidence of improved production, such as coffee, cotton, and, more recently, soybeans. Applied research that considers the costs and benefits of incorporating bee pollination into crop management has the potential to sustainably increase food production and quality with little added cost and, at the same time, protect the consumer and the environment.

Prof. Dr. David De Jong
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • bees
  • pollination
  • honey bees
  • stingless bees
  • bumblebees
  • solitary bees
  • organic pest control
  • fruit quality
  • pesticides

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

9 pages, 1205 KiB  
Communication
Increased Mass-Rearing of Queens in High Royal-Jelly-Producing Honey Bee Colonies (Apis mellifera ligustica) Generates Smaller Queens with Comparable Fecundity
Agriculture 2024, 14(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14020264 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 474
Abstract
The mass rearing of high-quality queen bees is an essential beekeeping practice for producing new queens to maintain colony productivity. A strain of high royal-jelly-producing bees (RJBs; Apis mellifera ligustica) in China exhibits high potential for the rapid mass rearing of queens. [...] Read more.
The mass rearing of high-quality queen bees is an essential beekeeping practice for producing new queens to maintain colony productivity. A strain of high royal-jelly-producing bees (RJBs; Apis mellifera ligustica) in China exhibits high potential for the rapid mass rearing of queens. To explore the potential changes in the quality of mass-reared queens, a set of morphometric traits and the sealed brood area were compared between the queens reared from 64 and 320 queen cells in RJB colonies. The increase in the queen cell number was found to induce a slightly but significantly reduced body weight and smaller wing length and thorax width in the reared queens at emergence. However, the ovariole number and sealed brood area, an indicator of the queen fecundity, were not observed to be significantly influenced. With respect to body weight and ovariole number, all the reared queens satisfied the current criteria for high-quality queens. Our findings provide evidence for the efficient mass production of high-quality queens using RJB colonies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bees as a Tool for Agricultural Production)
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