Rain effect on flight activity of Plebeia remota (Holmberg, 1903) (Apidae, Meliponini)


  • Sergio Dias Hilário Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Zoologia
  • Márcia de Fátima Ribeiro Embrapa Semiárido
  • Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonseca Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Biologia


flight activity, stingless bees, climatic factors, rain, foraging


Through an automated system, foragers' flight activity of four colonies of Plebeia remota was registered simultaneously from December 1998 to December 1999. The large amount of data obtained has allowed a quantitative and seasonal analysis of the rain impact on the bees' flight activity. The colonies came from two different localities: Cunha, Atlantic Rainforest in São Paulo State and Prudentópolis, Araucaria Forest in Paraná State. Percent numbers related to the flight activity for the moment that preceded the rain in one hour, as well as during and after the precipitation are presented. In all colonies, it was observed that the flight activity of P. remota has predominantly decreased before and during the precipitation. After it stopped raining, there was a predominance of increases, what indicates a compensation of flight activity in relation to the rainy period. In general, the greatest decrease of flight activity before rain, occurred in the autumn and the greatest increase of flight activity after rain, occurred in the spring. Alterations in this activity were observed with the variation of intensity, frequency and duration of precipitation. The external activity was little modified when the precipitation was up to 1.0 mm. However, when the rain intensity increased, the bees reduced strongly their flight activity. When the rain occurred only once per day, the decreases in the flight activity were greater, when compared to intermittent rain. Rains that lasted more than one hour caused larger decreases in the flight activity than precipitations of short duration. Flight activity was quite different when we compared days with rain and days without rain, as well as, flight activity was differently influenced in rainy days in the summer and in the winter. However, this behavior (response of flight activity to rain) did not allow to discriminate both populations.




How to Cite

Hilário, S. D., Ribeiro, M. de F., & Imperatriz-Fonseca, V. L. (2007). Rain effect on flight activity of Plebeia remota (Holmberg, 1903) (Apidae, Meliponini). Biota Neotropica, 7(3). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/327




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