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Psyche
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 241204, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/241204
Research Article

Foraging Activity in Plebeia remota, a Stingless Bees Species, Is Influenced by the Reproductive State of a Colony

1Departament of Biology, Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters of Ribeirão Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14040-030, Brazil
2Departament of Zoology, Institute of Bioscience, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05508-900, Brazil
3Departament of Ecology, Institute of Bioscience, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05508-900, Brazil

Received 30 July 2009; Accepted 12 March 2010

Academic Editor: Koos (J.C.) Biesmeijer

Copyright © 2010 Patrícia Nunes-Silva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Colonies of the Brazilian stingless bee Plebeia remota show a reproductive diapause in autumn and winter. Therefore, they present two distinct reproductive states, during which colony needs are putatively different. Consequently, foraging should be adapted to the different needs. We recorded the foraging activity of two colonies for 30 days in both phases. Indeed, it presented different patterns during the two phases. In the reproductive diapause, the resource predominantly collected by the foragers was nectar. The majority of the bees were nectar foragers, and the peak of collecting activity occurred around noon. Instead, in the reproductive phase, the predominantly collected resource was pollen, and the peak of activity occurred around 10:00 am. Although the majority of the foragers were not specialized in this phase, there were a larger number of pollen foragers compared to the phase of reproductive diapause. The temperature and relative humidity also influenced the foraging activity.