Pollination of habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense) and production in enclosures using the stingless bee Nannotrigona perilampoides
Orlando Cauich, José Javier G. Quezada Euán, Virginia Meléndez Ramírez, Gustavo R. Valdovinos-Nuñez, Humberto Moo-Valle
A flower isolation experiment was conducted to determine the effect of self and cross pollination in habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense) in Yucatán, Mexico. The number of fruits increased, differing significantly (p<0.01) between bagged flowers (BF=25%), flowers that received one visit (V= 79%) and those with unrestricted visits (UV=86%). Likewise the numbers of seeds and the fertilization index differed significantly between treatments (p<0.01). In a second experiment, the efficiency of the stingless bee Nannotrigona perilampoides (SB) for pollinating this crop was evaluated. The quality of the fruit and the production in kg/m2 were not different between SB and mechanical vibration (MV) but the latter showed significantly lower values in the polar diameter,weight and number of seed per fruit (p<0.01). Both SB and MV showed significantly higher values compared with a test treatment where no pollinator was used in all the evaluated variables (p< 0.01).We conclude that C. chinense can be self pollinated but cross pollination is needed to increase the number and quality of fruits and especially for high seed production probably due to the increased transference of pollen grains. The use of N. perilampoides seems a good alternative to the use of mechanical vibration and non native bees for pollination of peppers in enclosures under tropical conditions.