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Bionomics of Melipona mondury Smith 1863 (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Meliponini) in relation to its nesting behavior

Bionomia de Melipona mondury Smith 1863 (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Meliponini) em relação ao seu comportamento de nidificação

Melipona mondury Smith 1863 is an important stingless bee species pollinator and honey/pollen producer, but threatened by fragmentation of habitats throughout its range. This article presents the identification and partial characterization of nesting substrates, bionomic including population features of M. mondury by comparing data between nest architecture of natural beehive and boxes colonies. Nineteen colonies (13 in boxes and six in beehives) were analyzed with regards to substrate nesting, nest characteristics (e.g. length and width of the combs, height and diameter of the pollen and honey jar) and bee population. The average volume and diameter of the trunks cavities used for nesting of M.mondury were18.4 L and 15.8 cm; the average number of combs was 9.26; the average diameter and height of the honey pots were 2.81 cm and 3.29 cm, and the average volume of honey stored was 15.85 mL; the average height and diameter of pollen pots was 3.21 cm and 2.93 cm, respectively, while the average mass of pollen deposited was equal to 12.56 g. The population ranged from 3537 to 10281 individuals between colonies. The results suggest that the conservation of M. mondury should involve reforestation with native species from Atlantic Forest, and the dimensions of boxes should be based on the average size of the nests in the natural environment in order to support strategies of conservation and sustainable management of this species.

Conservation; nest architecture; nesting substrate; rational management; stingless bees

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil