Flight Activity of the Stingless Bee Plebeia aff. flavocincta in Tropical Conditions as Indicator of the General Health of the Colony

Artur Bruno da Silva Barbosa, Hiara Marques Meneses, Felipe Lima Rosa, Breno Magalhães Freitas

Abstract


Bees are prolific pollinators and are responsible for the pollination of most wild and cultivated plants. This study aimed to learn about the flight activity of the stingless bee Plebeia aff. flavocincta in tropical conditions as a parameter to evaluate the general state of the colonies, and to investigate the role of food resources and environmental factors in their flight activities. We recorded the worker flight activity (exit, when they leave the hive; trash, when they discard litter; entry with pollen; and entry without pollen) of four colonies throughout the year and monitored biotic and abiotic conditions that could affect the bee´s external activities, such as blooming and meteorological conditions.  Results showed that the colonies remained active throughout the year and presented  two major periods of external activity; one corresponding to the greater food supply in the field, and the other to time of the year when there were few food resources available. Also, the four flight activities were all strongly correlated with each other. We concluded that in tropical conditions, external activities of P. aff. flavocincta are regulated mainly due to the food resources available rather than the prevailing weather conditions and they are an important indicator of the general health of the colony.

Keywords


Beekeeping; Colony health; Foraging activities; Meliponini; Tropical bees

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v67i4.4926

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