Importance of bees in pollination of Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae) in open-field of the Southeast of Minas Gerais State, Brazil

ABSTRACT Pollinators are extremely important in agricultural crops because their deficit can affect food production in the world. Consequently, a lot of studies have been emphasizing the importance of the knowledge about the biology of these agents. The tomato stands out among the economically most important crops. Therefore, the objectives of this work were: to identify the pollinators of Solanum lycopersicum in a conventional area of cultivation in the southeast of Minas Gerais State and detect which of these are more representative; to assess the importance of the pollinators' action for the quality of the fruits produced; and discuss practices for conservation to these agents. Fifteen floral visitors were found, with Exomalopsis analis being the most representative. Apis mellifera and Trigona spinipes, although not vibrating bees, also acted as pollinators of Solanum lycopersicum.