Pollen Analysis of Food Pots Stored by Melipona subnitida Ducke (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a Restinga area

Authors

  • Rafael Sousa Pinto Programa de Pós-Graduação de Biodiversidade e Conservação - Universidade Federal do Maranhão
  • Patricia Maia Correia Albuquerque Universidade Federal do Maranhão
  • Márcia Maria Corrêa Rêgo Universidade Federal do Maranhão

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.461-469

Keywords:

pollen, honey, nectariferous plants, floral resources, stingless bee, Meliponini

Abstract

The geographic distribution of Melipona subnitida covers the dry areas in the northeastern Brazil, where it plays an important role as pollinator of many wild plant species. In the current study, the botanical species this bee uses as pollen and nectar sources in a restinga area of the Maranhão State, Brazil, were identified by analyzing pollen grains present in their storage pots in the nests. Samples were collected from five colonies bimonthly, from April 2010 to February 2011. In all the samples, 58 pollen types were identified; the families Fabaceae (8) and Myrtaceae (5) had the largest number of pollen types. In the pollen pots, 52 pollen types were identified; Fabaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Dilleniaceae species were dominant. In honey samples, 50 pollen types were found, with a predominance of nectariferous and polliniferous plant species. Out of the total of pollen types from nectariferous plants identified in honey, 20 pollen types contributed to the honey composition. Humiria balsamifera occurred in high frequency and was predominant in October. Chrysobalanus icaco, Coccoloba sp., Cuphea tenella and Borreria verticillata were also important for honey composition. The occurrence of a high number of minor pollen types indicated that M. subnitida visits many species in the locality; however, it was possible to observe that its floral preferences are very similar to those from other Melipona species.

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Published

2014-12-29

How to Cite

Pinto, R. S., Albuquerque, P. M. C., & Rêgo, M. M. C. (2014). Pollen Analysis of Food Pots Stored by Melipona subnitida Ducke (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a Restinga area. Sociobiology, 61(4), 461–469. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.461-469

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Research Article - Bees

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