Advertisement

Annual Foraging Patterns of the Maya Bee Melipona beecheii (Bennett, 1831) in Quintana Roo, Mexico

  • Juan Carlos Di Trani
  • Rogel Villanueva-Gutiérrez
Chapter

Abstract

For about a year we studied the foraging behavior of the ‘Maya bee’ Melipona beecheii in Quintana Roo, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. We determined the pollen and nectar foraging behavior, the brood cell number, and the amount of honey and pollen pots in eight nests each 2 months from June 2008 to June 2009. The pollen foraging activity, and stored pot-pollen available in the nests, peaked in February, and nectar foraging in April. However, the number of brood cells was highest in October, which corresponded to the end of the rainy season. We found a strong correlation between the number of brood cells and pollen and nectar foraging, a moderate correlation between nectar foraging and stored honey, and a weak relationship between foraged pollen and pollen pots. Finally, and contrary to what was expected, we did not find any positive correlation between brood cells and stored pollen, probably during some periods most of the pollen foraged was immediately used for feeding the brood or perhaps because the colonies anticipated and provided for brood continuation during periods of scarcity.

References

  1. Biesmeijer JC, Van Nieuwstadt MG, Lukács S, Sommeijer MJ. 1998. The role of internal and external information in foraging decisions of Melipona workers (Hymenoptera: Meliponinae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 42: 07–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biesmeijer JC, Bom M, Lukács S, Sommeijer MJ. 1999. The response of M. beecheii experimental pollen stress, worker loss and different levels of information input. Journal of Apicultural Research 38: 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borges FV, Blochtein B. 2005. Atividades externas Melipona marginata obscurior Moure (Hymenoptera, Apidae), em Distintas Épocas de ano, em Sao Francisco de Paula, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoololgia 22: 680–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borges FV, Blochtein B. 2006. Variação sazonal das condições internas de colônias de Melipona marginata obscurior Moure, no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoololgia 23: 711–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Camazine S. 1993. The regulation of pollen foraging by honey bees: how foragers assess the colony’s need for pollen. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 32: 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Comba, L. 1999. Patch use by bumblebees (Hymenoptera Apidae): temperature, wind, flower density and traplining. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 11: 243–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Contreras F, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL, Nieh JC. 2004. Temporal and Climatological Influences on Flight Activity in the Stingless Bee Trigona hyalinata (Apidae, Meliponini). Revista de Tecnología Ambiental 10: 35–43.Google Scholar
  8. Cortopassi-Laurino C. 2004. Seasonal strategies of harvesting by Melipona sp. in the Amazon region. In: Proceedings of the 8th IBRA International Conference on Tropical Bees and VI Encontro sobre Abelhas, Ribeirão Preto (SP), Brazil: 258-263.Google Scholar
  9. De Figueiredo-Mecca G, Bego L, do Nascimento F S. 2013. Foraging behavior of Scaptotrigona depilis (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) and its relationship with temporal and abiotic factors. Sociobiology 60: 267–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dreller C, Page R, Fondrk M. 1999. Regulation of pollen foraging in honeybee colonies: effects of young brood, stored pollen, and empty space. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45: 227–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Echazarreta CM, Quezada-Euan JJ, Medina LM, Pasteur KL. 1997. Beekeeping in the Yucatan Peninsula: Development and current status. Bee World 78: 115–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eckert C, Winston M, Ydenberg R. 1994. The relationship between population size, amount of brood, and individual foraging behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Oecologia 97: 248–255.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fewell J H, Winston M L. 1992. Colony state and regulation of pollen foraging in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 30: 387–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fewell JH, Winston ML. 1996. Regulation of nectar collection in relation to honey storage levels by honey bees, Apis mellifera. Behavioral Ecology 7: 286–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Free J B. 1967. Factors determining the collection of pollen by honey bee foragers. Animal Behavior: 15, 134–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gouw MS, Gimenes M. 2013. Differences of the daily flight activity rhythm in two Neotropical stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Sociobiology 60: 183–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hellmich RL, Rothenbuhler WC. 1986. Relationship between different amounts of brood and the collection and use of pollen by the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Apidologie 17: 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hilário SD, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL, Kleinert A. 2001. Responses to climatic factors by foragers of Plebeia pugnax Moure (in litt.) (Apidae, Meliponinae). Brazilian Journal of Biology 61: 191–196.Google Scholar
  19. Hilário SD, Ribeiro M, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL. 2007a. Rain effect on flight activity of Plebeia remota (Holmberg, 1903) (Apidae, Meliponini). Biota Neotropica 7: 135–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hilário SD, Ribeiro M, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL. 2007b. Wind effect on flight activity of Plebeia remota (Holmberg, 1903) (Apidae, Meliponini). Biota Neotropica 7: 225–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hilário SD, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL. 2009. Pollen foraging in colonies of Melipona bicolor (Apidae, Meliponini): effects of season, colony size and queen number. Genetics and Molecular Research 8: 664–671.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunter MD, Ohgushi T, Price PW. 1992. Effects of Resource Distribution on Animal-Plant Interactions. Academic Press. 505 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Iwama S. 1977. A influência dos fatores climáticos na atividade externa de Tetragonisca angustula (Apidae, Meliponinae). Bol. Zool. Univ. S. Paulo 2, 189–201.Google Scholar
  24. Juliani, L. (1967) A descrição do ninho e alguns dados biológicos sobre a abelha Plebeia julianii Moure. 1962 (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 12: 1-58.Google Scholar
  25. Kajobe R, Echazarreta C. 2005. Temporal resource partitioning and climatological influences on colony flight and foraging of stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini) in Ugandan tropical forests. African Journal of Ecology 43(3): 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kleinert-Giovanini, A. (1982). The influence of climatic factors on flight activity of Plebeia emerina Friese (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponinae) in winter. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 26: 1–13.Google Scholar
  27. Macías-Macías JO, Quezada-Euán JJ. 2008. Comportamiento de pecoreo de Melipona colimana (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) en zonas de montaña del Sur de Jalisco, México. Cartel del V Congreso Mesoamericano de Meliponicultura, Mérida, Yucatán.Google Scholar
  28. Molet M, Chittka L, Stelzer R J, Streit S, Raine NE. 2008. Colony nutritional status modulates worker responses to foraging recruitment pheromone in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 1919–1926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moo-Valle H, Quezada-Euán J J, Wenseleers T. 2001. The effect of food reserves on the production of sexual offspring in the stingless bee Melipona beecheii (Apidae,Meliponini). Insectes Sociaux 48: 398–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nunes-Silva P, Hilário SD, Imperatriz-Fonseca V L. 2010. Foraging Activity in Plebeia remota, a Stingless Bees Species, Is Influenced by the Reproductive State of a Colony. Psyche 16: 1–17.Google Scholar
  31. Pankiw T, Page R, Fondrk M. 1998. Brood pheromone stimulates pollen foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 44: 193–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pankiw T. 2004. Brood pheromone regulates foraging activity of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 748–751CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Pankiw T. 2007. Brood pheromone modulation of pollen forager turnaround time in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). Journal of Insect Behavior 20: 173–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Peat J, Goulson D. 2005. Effects of experience and weather on foraging rate and pollen versus nectar collection in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 152–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pierrot LM, Schlindwein C. 2003. Variation in daily flight activity and foraging patterns in colonies of uruçu – Melipona scutellaris Latreille (Apidae, Meliponini). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 20: 565–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pleasants JM, Zimmerman M. 1979. Patchiness in the dispersion of nectar resources: evidence for hot and cold spots. Oecologia 41: 283–288.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Porter-Bolland L. 2001. Landscape Ecology of Apiculture in the Maya Area of La Montaña, Campeche, México. PhD Thesis. University of Florida, Florida, USA. 310 pp.Google Scholar
  38. Possingham HP. 1989. The Distribution and Abundance of Resources Encountered by a Forager. The American Naturalist 133: 42-60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rathcke BJ, Jules ES. 1993. Habitat fragmentation and plant-pollinator interactions. Current Science 65: 273–277.Google Scholar
  40. Roubik D. 1982. Seasonality in colony food storage, brood production and adult survivorship, studies of Melipona in tropical forest (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Kansas Entomology Society 55: 789–800.Google Scholar
  41. Roubik DW. 1989. Ecology and natural history of tropical bees. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA. 514 pp.Google Scholar
  42. Roubik DW, Moreno JM, Vergara C, Wittmann D. 1986. Sporadic food competition with the African honey bee: projected impact on Neotropical social bees. Journal of Tropical Ecology 2 (2): 97–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Souza B, Carvalho C, Alves R. 2006. Flight activity of Melipona asilvai Moure (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Brazilian Journal of Biology 66: 731–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Todd FE, Reed CB. 1970. Brood measurement as a valid index to the value of honey bees as pollinators. Journal of Economic Entomology 63: 148–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Veen JW, Arce HG, Sommeijer MJ. 2004. Production of queens and drones in Melipona beecheii (Meliponini) in relation to colony development and resource availability. Proceedings of the Netherlands Entomological Society Meeting 15: 35-39.Google Scholar
  46. Villanueva-Gutiérrez R. 2002. Polliniferous plants and foraging strategies of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Revista de Biología Tropical 50: 1035–1044.Google Scholar
  47. Villanueva-Gutiérrez R, Roubik DW. 2004. Why are African honey bees and not European bees invasive? Pollen diet diversity in community experiments. Apidologie 35: 481–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Villanueva-Gutiérrez R, Roubik D W, Porter-Bolland L. 2015. Bee-plant interactions: competition and phenology of flowers visited by bees. 131-152. In: Islebe, G A, Calmé S, León-Cortéz J L, Schmook B, eds. Biodiversity and conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula. Springer International Publishing Switzerland. 401 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Winston ML. 1980. Seasonal patterns of brood rearing and worker longevity in colonies of the Africanized honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in South America. Journal of Kansas Entomology Society 53: 157-165.Google Scholar
  50. Winston, ML. 1987. The biology of the honey bee. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts. 281 pp.Google Scholar
  51. Williams NL, Kremen C. 2007. Resource distributions among habitats determine solitary bee offspring production in a mosaic landscape. Ecological Applications 17: 910–921.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Woyke J. 1992. Diurnal flight activity of African bees Apis mellifera adansonii in different seasons and zones of Ghana. Apidologie 23: 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zimmerman M. 1981. Patchiness in the dispersion of nectar resources: Probable causes. Oecologia 49: 154–157.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Carlos Di Trani
    • 1
  • Rogel Villanueva-Gutiérrez
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT)San Francisco, Ciudad de PanamáRepública de Panamá
  2. 2.El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. Unidad Chetumal. Av. Centenario km 5.5ChetumalMexico

Personalised recommendations