Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7108
HILARIO, S. D.; IMPERATRIZ-FONSECA, V. L. and KLEINERT, A. de M. P.. Responses to climatic factors by foragers of Plebeia pugnax Moure (in litt.) (Apidae, Meliponinae). Rev. Bras. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.2, pp. 191-196. ISSN 0034-7108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200003.
Flight activity of Plebeia pugnax Moure (in litt.) was studied in six colonies coming from Cunha, SP, from July to October 1994. Twice a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., for 5 minutes every half-hour, all the bees entering and leaving the hives were counted. Six hundred counts were made and the materials that foragers carried were recorded. Data were analysed in relation to temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and day time. Foragers' flight activity was relatively constant in a wide range of temperature, from 22°C to 34°C. The minimum temperature for the beginning of flight activity was 14°C. Effective flight activity (when foragers of all colonies were leaving the hives) occurred at 15°C. These bees also flew within a wide range of relative humidity, from 30% to 100%, decreasing slowly after 50%. Flight activity increased as light intensity rose and it has also increased as the hours passed by, reaching a peak around midday and decreasing gradually afterwards. Pollen was collected all day long, while resin collection was relatively constant and debris transportation was slightly higher after 10:00 h. From all known Plebeia species, this one flew on the lowest temperature ever registered for this genus.
Keywords : flight activity; stingless bees; climatic factors.