Environmental factors influencing propolis production by the honey bee Apis mellifera in Minas Gerais State, Brazil.
Gisele Cristina Olinta Ribeiro Pereira, Angel Roberto Barchuk and Isabel Ribeiro do Valle Teixeira
Many environmental and biological factors can influence the amount and quality of propolis production by honey bees. Here we report on environmental factors that influence propolis production in southern Minas Gerais, where one of the most marketable types of propolis in the world, green propolis, is produced. We used three apiaries with a total of 40 colonies of Africanized honey bees. The apiary sites differed mainly in plant diversity and local honey bee colony density. Propolis samples were collected weekly over a period of 10 months. We found that moderate rainfall and temperature promote the production of high quality (green) propolis. We also found that plant diversity influences the quantity and quality of propolis production. This may help in selecting locations for establishing apiaries for propolis production, which represents an excellent alternative for sustainable management of natural forests threatened with destruction in Brazil.
green propolis, Africanized honey bee, temperature, rainfall, natural forest