Melissopalynological records of honeys from Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille, 1811) in the Lower Amazon, Brazil: pollen spectra and concentration.
We present the pollen investigation of honeys from Tetragonisca angustula (Apidae, Meliponini) in the Lower Amazon region, Pará State, Brazil. The analyses focused on the spectra and pollen concentrations recorded in the honey. We conducted monthly collections between September 2010 and January 2012 in the municipalities of Belterra and Santarém. The pollen spectra in the honey from the Belterra and Santarém regions demonstrated 58 and 45 pollen types, respectively. Fabaceae was the most commonly represented plant family in the honey samples from both areas. The main pollen associations observed in the honey include as follows: Borreria verticillata, Byrsonima, Eriope, Microtea and Warszewiczia coccinea in Belterra and Byrsonima, Cecropia, Clidemia hirta, Myrcia, Solanum paniculatum, Tapirira guianensis and W. coccinea in Santarém. In both municipalities, the mean values of the pollen diversity (Shannon-Weaver, H′) and equitability (Pielou, J′) indices were 1.6 and 0.6, respectively. Most of the honey from Belterra contained between 20,000 and 100,000 pollen grains/10 g of honey (Group II). In Santarém, most of the samples contained between 100,000 and 500,000 grains/10 g of honey (Group III). T. angustula demonstrated polyletic foraging behaviours during the study. The ecological indices point towards uniformity in the use of the available resources in the local flora. The concentration of pollen in the honey samples indicates that these honeys meet the normal, internationally recognised standards.