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Observations on gynes and drones around nuptial flights in the stingless bees Tetragonisca angustula and Melipona beecheii (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponinae)

By J.W. van Veen and M.J. Sommeijer


The nuptial flight of gynes of Tetragonisca angustula and Melipona beecheii was studied.\ud The moment of nuptial flight was found to be related to the ambient temperature, and the duration\ud of the nuptial flight for M. beecheii was longer in November (rainy season) than in March (dry\ud season). A repeated mating flight was recorded for two gynes of T. angustula. Three of five T. angustula\ud queens and all six M. beecheii queens were mated successfully. Behavioural data of drones and\ud gynes shortly before and after the nuptial flight are presented. Drones of T. angustula participated in\ud a congregation for up to three days. The importance of pheromones for the attraction of drones and\ud gynes is discussed. An hypothesis explaining the observed seasonal occurrence of male congregations\ud near nests of T. angustula is presented

Topics: Biologie, mating, drone congregation, Melipona beecheii, Tetragonisca angustula, stingless bees
Year: 1999
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