Effect of lodging type on the internal temperature and humidity of colonies of Melipona colimana (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) from a Mexican temperate zone

publication date: Jul 11, 2011
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 50 (3) pp. 235 -241
DOI
10.3896/IBRA.1.50.3.08
Date
July 2011
Article Title

Effect of lodging type on the internal temperature and humidity of colonies of Melipona colimana (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) from a Mexican temperate zone

Author(s)
José Octavio Macías-Macías, José Javier G. Quezada-Euán and José Maria Tapia González
Abstract

Stingless bees are mainly tropical insects and only a few species live in temperate climates. Melipona colimana is a stingless bee endemic to temperate areas of western Mexico, where there is much interest in exploiting it for honey production and crop pollination. It is not known, however, if colonies of this species would adapt to hives necessary for commercial exploitation. Twenty four colonies were transferred to trunks and wooden boxes having walls with one of two thicknesses (2.5 and 10.0 cm). The internal and ambient temperature and humidity were monitored for three months during winter, at the end of which, the brood cell numbers, number of adults, and nest weights were assessed. There were differences in temperature (F1 = 69.32; F2 = 1769.33; DF = 3, 56; P < 0.05) and humidity (F1 = 397.15; F2 = 1028.11; DF = 3, 56; P < 0.05) between environmental data and internal data of nests during day1 and night2, respectively. The internal temperature was statistically similar during the day in all three lodgings, but at night the nests in thick wooden boxes had higher temperatures compared with the other two. There was a decrease in the development of the nests and bee populations in all three lodgings, and a lowest development occurred in thin-walled boxes, probably due to thickness reduction in the lodging walls. This bee species appears capable of maintaining control of the internal environment and this ability is enhanced by using greater thickness of the lodging walls as in this study. The use of boxes with thick walls is recommended for better nest development.

Keywords

Melipona colimana, meliponiculture, temperature, humidity, nest development, Jalisco

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