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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611

Abstract

HILARIO, Sergio Dias; RIBEIRO, Márcia de Fátima  and  IMPERATRIZ-FONSECA, Vera Lucia. Wind effect on flight activity of Plebeia remota (Holmberg, 1903) (Apidae, Meliponini). Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2007, vol.7, n.3, pp.225-232. ISSN 1676-0611.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032007000300024.

Through an automated system, foragers' flight activity of four colonies of Plebeia remota was registered at same time from December 1998 to December 1999. The large amount of data obtained allowed a quantitative and seasonal analysis of the effect of speed and direction of wind on their flight activity. In all four seasons, the smallest flight activity of Plebeia remota occurred when there was no wind or when the wind speed average was below 0.5 m/s. The flight activity peaks occurred in higher measured wind speeds and varied according to the seasons and the colonies. In the summer, the flight activity peaks occurred between 3.5 and 5.5 m/s of speed, in the autumn, in the series 4.0-4.5 m/s, and in the spring between 4.5 and 6.0 m/s. In the winter, clear restriction upon flight activity occurred in wind speeds above 5.5 m/s. Plebeia remota foragers guided preferentially their flights for certain wind directions. Except summer, the directions were similar to the four colonies. These directions matched with the locations where the most used floral resources are. On the other hand, lowest flights number coincided with conditions when the foragers would left their colonies upwind.

Keywords : flight activity; stingless bees; climatic factors; wind; foraging.

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