Botanical resources used by Apis mellifera determined by pollen analysis of royal jelly in Mina Gerais, Brazil
Ortrud Monika Barth
Pollen analysis of royal jelly samples obtained on the same day from six colonies in an apiary located in the region of Vicosa (Universidade Federal de Vicosa), state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, was carried out using the acetolysis method. Pollen grain types and number varied between the colonies. Three (Arecaceae, Cecropia, Eucalyptus) of the 38 plant taxa identified by the use of pollen morphology were common to all samples. Numerous tree species were represented by a few pollen grains in the royal jelly samples. Shrubs and herbs were also identified. Frequent pollen grains of the forest border plant species confirmed the location of the beehives next to this vegetation. Exotic plant species of Antigonon, Dombeya and Eucalyptus represented important resources for the bees. In accordance with the pollen analysis of propolis and geopropolis samples, pollen spectra of royal jelly samples may constitute a useful tool to indicate the regional origin of the samples and to recognize the most important plant taxa for the bees.