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Volume 2012, Article ID 291519, 7 pages
Review Article

Generalist Bee Species on Brazilian Bee-Plant Interaction Networks

Ecology Department, University of São Paulo, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 3 February 2012; Accepted 19 March 2012

Academic Editor: Felipe Andrés León Contrera

Copyright © 2012 Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert and Tereza Cristina Giannini. 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.


Determining bee and plant interactions has an important role on understanding general biology of bee species as well as the potential pollinating relationship between them. Bee surveys have been conducted in Brazil since the end of the 1960s. Most of them applied standardized methods and had identified the plant species where the bees were collected. To analyze the most generalist bees on Brazilian surveys, we built a matrix of bee-plant interactions. We estimated the most generalist bees determining the three bee species of each surveyed locality that presented the highest number of interactions. We found 47 localities and 39 species of bees. Most of them belong to Apidae (31 species) and Halictidae (6) families and to Meliponini (14) and Xylocopini (6) tribes. However, most of the surveys presented Apis mellifera and/or Trigona spinipes as the most generalist species. Apis mellifera is an exotic bee species and Trigona spinipes, a native species, is also widespread and presents broad diet breath and high number of individuals per colony.