Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 167–174 | Cite as

The value of a tree species (Caryocar brasiliense) for a stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata quadrifasciata

  • Yasmine Antonini
  • Rogério P. Martins


The expansion of crop lands and increased logging for charcoal production in the Brazilian savannahs (“cerrados”) has reduced richness and abundance of Meliponini bees. This may be a consequence of limitation in the availability of potential nesting substrate. The role of a cerrado-tree (Caryocar brasiliense) in providing nesting substrate for Melipona quadrifasciata quadrifasciata was evaluated. Tree (p= 0.006) and branch (p= 0.001) diameters, number of suitable branches (n= 513), height of the trees and availability of trees suitable for bee nesting were all important to the conservation of M. quadrifasciata. However, the high availability of nesting substrate did not seem to limit nest density nor cause the clumped pattern of nest distributions found for the study site. Nests (n= 48) were found mainly in individuals of C. brasiliense (n= 46) suggesting an active tree selection. In addition, nests located on the highest branches (mean = 4.6 m, sd = 1 m, n= 46) had lower probability of being extirpated by human honey collectors.

Brazilian cerrado Nest distributions Nesting substrate Stingless bee 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia e Comportamento de Insetos, Departamento de Biologia Geral, ICBUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo Horizonte, MGBrazil

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