Natural substitutions of queens and flight distance of males in tiuba (Melipona compressipes fasciculata Smith, 1854) and uruçu (Melipona scutellaris Latreille, 1811) (Apidae, Meliponini)

This work reports on the reproductive life of the stingless bees (Meliponini). Old queens of Melipona compressipes fasciculata in Maranhão State, Brazil die and are successfully substituted by new ones in all months. Queens of Melipona scutellaris from Lençois (BA - northeastern Brazil) brought to Uberlândia (Central South eastern Brazil) died during all months, and there are no months where new queens are more able to begin egg laying. Forty males of M. scutellaris were marked in the thorax and released in groups of 10 at 100, 400, 800 and 1000 meters from the meliponary and their return to it was observed. All males released at 100 to 400 meters returned, 7 out of 10 and 2 out of 10 males returned respectively from 800 and 1000 meters. Males are constantly waiting for a virgin queen next to orphan colonies, the majority of the queens is inseminated in near the hive, therefore, gene dispersion depends more upon the males and of the occupation of a new cavity for nest.

meliponini; egg laying; swarm

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