Edna Ursolino Alves
Maria Cristina Affonso Lorenzon
Flight activity of Melipona scutellaris (Meliponini) during dry and wet seasons at humid region of Parayba State. Flight activity of the colonies of stinglessbees is controlled by climatic conditions, however seems to be maintained in routine patterns. The objectives of the study are to verify the foraging activity of Melipona scutellaris during dry and rainy seasons and to know if the development level of the colonies could affect this activity. Observations are carried out nine colonies of M. scutellaris of different strength, between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm during 20 days, chosen at random from dry and rainy seasons. The workers begun their activities of pollen and nectar harvest at 3:30 am and finished at about 6:00 pm. The foraging activity varied during the day and the seasons. The harvest peaks occurred before 8:00 am and after 2:00 pm, during both seasons. Peak of pollen harvest occurred first and it was higher than the nectar one in both seasons. The amount of foragers bees were higher in the morning and increased considerably during dry season and different colonies showed similar responses. The occurrence of flight patterns in this bee species was observed and it seems to be determined by the climatic conditions and by a circadian organization defining the food availability during the day. Keywords: Circadiam rhythm, behavior, bee, Meliponini, abiotic conditions. Descritores: Ritmo circadiano, comportamento, abelha, Meliponini, condiçoes abióticas.
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