Compatibility of an Organically Based Insect Control Program with Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollination in Cantaloupes

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The application of azadirachtin to foliage of cantaloupes did not significantly reduce successful pollination by commercially managed honey bees, Apis mellifera L., as measured by numbers of foraging honey bees and yield. Similar results were obtained when the synthetic insecticide imidacloprid (used as a standard by cantaloupe growers) was applied to the soil. Fruit yield and quality, as a function of bee pollination, were statistically equal between the two treatments, and equal to that of the untreated control. The standard treatment of imidacloprid gave significantly better control than azadirachtin of one pest (cucumber beetle) early in the season. Fruit maturity was delayed in untreated plots, consistent with light insect pressure observed. These results indicate that an organically based insect control approach will not alter bloom acceptance and bee forager activity in cantaloupes.

Keywords: Apis mellifera; azadirachtin; cantaloupes; pollination

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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