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Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered
as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly
production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator
agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of
Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction
with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species
already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes.
This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana
L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato.
During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated
flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged
flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured
in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit
produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly
higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time
(p<0.05) than T. iridipennis due to their larger colony demand and
low reward provide by tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato
flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency,
respectively; p<0.05) even though the average weight and size of tomatoes
were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use
of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical
climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera
and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed
to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination
using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.