The 11th International Symposium on Pollination, organized by the International Commission for Plant-Pollinator Relationships (ICPPR), which brings together scientists and national and international institutions interested in expanding scientific knowledge on plant pollination, was held in Berlin at the end of last month.
It provided the perfect setting to present three of the collaboration projects which the Bayer Bee Care Center has been working on in Brazil, with local researchers.
Dr. Vagner Arnaut from the Universidade Estadual de Maringá in Brazil presented two posters of work carried out on canola, a hybrid variety of oilseed rape, in Brazil. The first of two projects looked at pollination by local Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and also a stingless bee species (Tetragonisca angustula) as individuals and by both, in association, on the production of hybrid canola grain. The variety tested (Hyola 76) can be self-pollinated or benefit, to some extent, from cross-pollination and the project results indicate that yields are higher with bee cross-pollination.
A second study also ascertained when the different bee species were active in the crop, how long they stayed for and how often they visited, to better understand the bees ‘working’ schedule and if environmental variables such as humidity, nectar availability, temperature etc., impact their behavior.
Members of the Brazilian project teams and Bayer Bee Care team at the event.
Also talking at the event, Dr. Favízia Freitas de Oliveira presented a third Brazilian project in which an abandoned collection of bee species collected on the university campus grounds of Maringa City, was restored, organized and photographed. The collection entails some 6,000 bee specimens and about 85% have so far been identified and catalogued, comprising some 130 species from 51 genera of bee. This represents around 33% of the native bee fauna of Paraná state, where the city is located. It is even thought that a more detailed analysis and identification of some of these bees will show that some are actually new species. An exciting discovery! The study highlights that a diverse fauna of bees can be found, even in highly urbanized areas, and the role and importance that maintenance of city parks and green areas in the urban landscape play in the conservation of these pollinators.
These projects illustrate Bayer’s commitment to pollinator health, and that collaboration is key to improve the situation. Events like the one in Berlin offer a platform for the essential exchange of knowledge across the globe.