External activity of colonies of Melipona quinquefasciata managed in different types of beehive

Valdenio Mendes Mascena, Celso Moreira Silva, Cicero Lima de Almeida, Társio Thiago Lopes Alves, Breno Magalhães Freitas


This study evaluated the influence of the environment and of two models of beehive (wooden box and ceramic pot) on the flight activity of the ground-nesting bee, Melipona quinquefasciata. The experiment took place in the Chapada do Araripe, in the State of Ceará, Brazil, between July 2014 and June 2015. The study followed colonies in three ceramic pots and four wooden boxes. Observations of the flight activity of the bees and of the climate were made on five days every month, each colony being monitored for 5 min, at intervals of one hour, from 0500 to 1700. The internal temperature and relative humidity of the hives were also recorded every hour throughout the year. The temperature correlated positively with the bees’ entering and leaving the hives, while air humidity correlated negatively. Light intensity positively influenced the two flows. Bee entry was higher during the dry period of the year (dry = 2.82 ± 0.22; wet = 1.19 ± 0.22). The mean internal temperature of the ceramic pots was higher (p<0.01) (dry = 23.34 ± 0.48 °C) (wet = 23.20 ± 0.25 °C) than of the wooden boxes (dry = 22.08 ± 0.31 °C and wet = 21.89 ± 0.29 °C), as was the internal humidity (dry = 87.41 ± 0.56% and wet = 89.35 ± 0.94%) (p<0.01) (dry = 82.24 ± 0.74% and wet = 86.47 ± 0.11%). It was concluded that the activity of Melipona quinquefasciata was related to the climate and the seasonality of the resources. The model of beehive used influences the homeostasis and foraging of the colonies.


Flight activity; Climate conditions; Types of beehive; Stingless bees

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