Role of native buzz pollinator bees in enhancing fruit and seed set in tomatoes under open field conditions
U Amala and TM Shivalingaswamy
Tomato, Solanum lycopersicon flowers with poricidal anthers needs sonicating bees for release of pollen from the anthers for effective pollination. In this study, we investigated the potential of two buzz pollinating native bee species viz., blue banded bee, Amegilla zonata (Anthophorinae: Apidae) and sweat bee, Hoplonomia westwoodi (Nominae: Halictidae) over the fruit and seed setting in tomatoes under field conditions. A. zonata pollinated flowers recorded significantly the highest fruit weight and number of seeds compared to the flowers pollinated by sweat bee, H. westwoodi and wind pollination. The numbers of fruits set were found to be higher in the flowers pollinated by buzz pollinating bees, A. zonata and H. westwoodi. The numbers of aborted fruits were found to be more in the wind assisted self pollinated fruits. The results of the study established that blue banded bee, A. zonata could be viable buzz pollinating bee for the pollination of tomatoes.