Pollinator Status Of Bees In Cocoaagro-Ecological System
Bees constitute an important functional group due to their mutualistic interactions with plants. However,
their role as pollinators of cocoa has been an issue of both speculation and debate. Two bee species were
identified in the cocoa farms, but only the stingless bee, Hypotrigona araujoi (Michener) visited the
cocoa flowers. A six week study was conducted on twelve cocoa trees to establish its pollinator status.
The number of bees' visit at a time was generally low, and very few picked up pollen. No bee visited the
stigmas of the cocoa flowers. Of the 200 flowers that were tagged after bee visits 94.5% dropped after the
second day signifying lack of pollination. The bee numbers were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the
exogenous factors such as overcast, temperature, relative humidity and light intensity. The bees' visit in
the mornings was higher with 2.5(d0.01) mean number of visits compared to the afternoons and evenings.
The distance of the farm plots from the forest, however; did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect the bee visit.
The bees foraging behavior, visitation rate and pollen deposition, suggest that the Hypotrigona araujoi
(Michener) could not be an effective pollinator of cocoa.