Variation in daily flight activity and foraging patterns in colonies of uruçu - Melipona scutellaris Latreille (Apidae, Meliponini)

Leonardo Monteiro Pierrot, Clemens Schlindwein
2003 Revista Brasileira de Zoologia  
The flight activities of five colonies of Melipona (Michmelia) scutellaris Latreille, 1811 kept among mixed fruit crop plantations in within fragments of Atlantic Rainforest in Pernambuco, NE-Brazil was examined. The daily deployment of foragers to collect pollen, nectar, resin and mud was observed. The colonies performed between 2,640 and 14,250 flights per day. Variations in the number of total daily flights were similar between colonies on all observation days. Proportional allocation of
more » ... gers to the different resources also among colonies showed similar variation. More than 90% of the pollen collection flights were made early in the morning. Nectar was collected in similar proportional frequencies with a reduction in activity at noon. On a single day, was observed atypical intense pollen foraging during the afternoon by all colonies. This indicates a high plasticity in foraging behaviour and efficient recruitment to resources which are presented by mass flowering trees with synchronised big bang or multiple bang flowering. Resource availability of the surrounding vegetation, therefore, seems to be the major factor in defining the forager activities on a given day.
doi:10.1590/s0101-81752003000400001 fatcat:2b3li5qudzc2jfca5sgq2sqcfu