Comportamentos de abandono e migração de colônias silvestres da abelha melífera africanizada (Apis mellifera L.)
Acta Scientiarum : Biological Sciences
Absconding an Absconding an Absconding an Absconding and migratory behaviors of feral A d migratory behaviors of feral A d migratory behaviors of feral A d migratory behaviors of feral Africanized honey bee fricanized honey bee fricanized honey bee fricanized honey bee ( ( ( (Apis mellifera Apis mellifera Apis mellifera Apis mellifera L.) L.) L.) L.) colonies in NE Brazil colonies in NE Brazil colonies in NE Brazil colonies in NE Brazil ABSTRACT. We investigated the annual movements of feral
... icanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies in the state of Ceará, Brazil, aiming to understand seasonal variations in their population. Arrival and absconding of Africanized honey bee (AHB) colonies in the semiarid municipality of Canindé and the coastal humid city of Fortaleza (120 km apart) were recorded weekly from January 1999 to December 2001, and the data compared to rainfall records in both areas. Results showed that AHB colonies only nest in the semiarid during the rainy season and abscond during the dry season, the opposite from observations taken in Fortaleza. Only 5% of colonies remained in the semiarid area for the entire year due to ant (Camponotus sp.) attacks and shortage of nectar and water during the dry season, with most colonies migrating to coastal areas where the weather is milder and many plant species bloom at that time of year. Excessive rainfall probably pushes AHB colonies back to the semiarid during the rainy season. We concluded that absconding and migration are strategies that allow AHB colonies to survive in the semiarid NE of Brazil, contrary to European honeybees, which have never succeeded in establishing wild colonies in the region.