Comparing Honey bees and Stingless bee’s pollination in greenhouse sweet melons
Ong’ute HW, ED Kokwaro, M Kasina
Sweet melon, Cucumis melo is a succulent, delicious and extra-sweet fruit that is grown in the warm areas. The fruit is of economic value and it is also a source of Vitamin C and A and antioxidants. Using a completely randomized design a study was conducted at KALRO Kabete, Kenya in three greenhouses where sweet melon plants were planted in plastic pots. Upon flowering colonies of honey bee, Apis mellifera and stingless bee, Meliponula ferruginea were placed in the first and second greenhouses for pollination. The third greenhouse was used a control. Observations on flower visits were made and time of visits on male and female flowers were recorded. Fruits were harvested on maturity and weight of fruits and number of developed and undeveloped seeds was counted. Collected data of number of visits, weight of fruits and developed seeds were subjected to ANOVA and the means were compared. Pollination by honey bees produced heavier fruits than pollination by stingless bees. Results also showed a significant difference in number of developed seeds between honey bee pollination and stingless bees pollination (P<0.001). Honey bees are therefore a more effective option in pollination of greenhouse sweet melons.