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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-6984versión On-line ISSN 1678-4375


FIDALGO, AO.  y  KLEINERT, AMP.. Foraging behavior of Melipona rufiventris Lepeletier (Apinae; Meliponini) in Ubatuba, SP, Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.1, pp.133-140. ISSN 1519-6984.

This study describes how the foraging activity of Melipona rufiventris is influenced by the environment and/or by the state of a colony. Two colonies were studied in Ubatuba, SP (44° 48’ W and 23° 22’ S) from July/2000 to June/2001. These colonies were classified as strong (Colony 1) and intermediate (Colony 2) according to their general conditions: population and brood comb size and number of food pots. The bees were active from dawn to dusk. The number of pollen loads presented a positive correlation with relative humidity (rs = 0.401; p <0.01) and was highest between 70 and 90%. However, it was negatively correlated with temperature (rs = -0.228; p <0.01) showing a peak between 18 and 23 °C. The number of nectar loads presented a positive correlation with temperature (rs = 0.244; p <0.01) and light intensity (rs = 0.414; p <0.01); it was greater between 50 and 90% of relative humidity and 20 and 30 °C of temperature. They collected more nectar than pollen throughout the day, and were more active between 6 and 9 hours. Workers from Colony 1 (strong) collected nectar in greater amounts and earlier than those from Colony 2 (intermediate). The number of pollen, nectar and resin loads varied considerably between the study days. Peaks of pollen collection occurred earlier in months with longer days and in a hotter and more humid climate. The foraging behavior of M. rufiventris is probably affected by the state of the colony and by environmental conditions, notably temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and length of the day.

Palabras clave : Melipona rufiventris; Apinae; Meliponini; foraging behavior; nectar; pollen.

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