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1 June 2015 Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield
David M. Lowenstein, Emily S. Minor
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Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a crop with perfect flowers capable of self-pollination. Insect pollination enhances fruit set, but little is known about how pollination success varies by number of visits from bumble bees. To quantify the efficiency of bumble bees at pollinating eggplants, we allowed 1,2,6, and 12 bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to visit eggplant flowers and compared percentage of flowers that set fruit, fruit weight, and seed set after 3 wk. We compared yield from these visit numbers to eggplant flowers that were left open for unlimited visitation. Eggplant flowers set the most fruit from open-pollination and 12 visits. Larger, seedier fruits were formed in open-pollinated flowers. However, fruit characteristics in the 12 visit treatment were similar to lower visitation frequencies. We confirm B. impatiens as an efficient eggplant pollinator and document the greatest benefit from 12 bumble bee visits and open-pollinated flowers. To maintain effective eggplant pollination, local conditions must be conducive for bumble bee colony establishment and repeated pollen foraging trips.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
David M. Lowenstein and Emily S. Minor "Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield," Journal of Economic Entomology 108(3), 1456-1459, (1 June 2015).
Received: 17 September 2014; Accepted: 26 March 2015; Published: 1 June 2015

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Solanum melongena
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