Flight activity and responses to climatic conditions of two subspecies of Melipona marginata lepeletier (Apidae, Meliponinae)
A. Kleinert-Giovannini And V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca
The flight activity of two colonies of M. m. marginata and six colonies of M. m. obscurior was studied in Sao Paulo, Brazil during three periods in 1981-1983. All colonies were hived except for one colony of M. m. obscurior which nested in a hollow tree. The two subspecies showed the same responses to the climatic factors analysed. Flight activity was correlated positively with temperature and negatively with RH. In favourable conditions foraging took place throughout the day but both species were most active between 11 and 13 h. In the last observation period (October 1982-January 1983), when only two obscurior colonies were studied, flight activity was not correlated to RH, occurring even when RH was unfavourably high. This was a very rainy season, and it is suggested that the behaviour of the bees indicates a flexible response to prevailing weather conditions.
Melipona marginata lepeletier, M. m. obscurior, M. m. marginata, Flight Activtiy, Flight Responses, Climate conditions, Brazil,