Revista Colombiana de Entomología
Print version ISSN 0120-0488
NATES-PARRA, GUIOMAR and RODRIGUEZ C., ÁNGELA. Foraging of Melipona eburnea (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in the foothills of the western plains (Meta, Colombia). Rev. Colomb. Entomol. [online]. 2011, vol.37, n.1, pp. 121-127. ISSN 0120-0488.
We studied the flight activity of Melipona eburnea in Acacías (Meta, Colombia) over the rainy and the dry seasons. We recorded the activity in five colonies; during each season we made 15 days of observations, three days for each nest, from 5:30 to 17:00 hours, each hour for 10 minutes. Both external activity and pollen collection were maximized in the first hours of the morning. Pollen collection decreased considerably as the day advanced, and was almost nil toward 10:00 h. Foragers of M. eburnea spent 11 hours daily in their general external activities in both seasons. The percentage of M. eburnea workers that entered with loads was quite reduced compared to total bees that arrived at the nests (11.4%). In the afternoon hours the number of bees entering with mud (2.1%) increased. There were significant differences in the entry of building materials in the two climate seasons. The percentage of workers that entered with loads was greater in the rainy season than in the dry season. The increase in temperature influenced overall activity as well as pollen collection.
Keywords : Stingless bees; Foragers; External activity; Pollen; Meliponini.