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Jaffe R.,University of Sao Paulo | Pope N.,University of Texas at Austin | Carvalho A.T.,Rural University | Maia U.M.,Rural University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Stingless bees are an important asset to assure plant biodiversity in many natural ecosystems, and fulfill the growing agricultural demand for pollination. However, across developing countries stingless beekeeping remains an essentially informal activity, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack standardization. Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products. Our study represents the first large-scale effort aiming at optimizing stingless beekeeping for honey/colony production based on quantitative data. Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators. Specifically, our results highlight the importance of teaching beekeepers how to inspect and feed their colonies, how to multiply them and keep track of genetic lineages, how to harvest and preserve the honey, how to use vinegar traps to control infestation by parasitic flies, and how to add value by labeling honey containers. Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income. Our work provides clear guidelines to optimize stingless beekeeping and help transform the activity into a powerful tool for sustainable development. © 2015 Jaffé et al. Source

Barreto A.Q.,Institute Meio Ambience e Recursos Hidricos do Distrito Federal | Lopes De Carvalho C.A.,Insecta Research Group | Sodre G.D.S.,Insecta Research Group
Sociobiology | Year: 2011

The phenology of bees in a fragment of seasonal Semidecidual Forest in Bahia, Brazil was studied monthly from May of 2006 to April of 2007. The 58 species collected were distributed along the year, with 41.38 % occurring in both the rainy period and dry period, 37.93 % just in the rainy period and 20.69 % exclusively in the dry period. The captured number of individuals was 40.09 % in the dry period and 59.91 % in the rainy period. The foraging activities of the bees along the day were more frequent the morning (58.14%) than in the afternoon (41.86%). The periods of significant activity were from 07:01 AM to 12:00 PM and from 12:01 PM to 04:00 PM. Source

De Lima Junior C.A.,Insecta Research Group | De Carvalho C.A.L.,Insecta Research Group | Nunes L.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Francoy T.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Sociobiology | Year: 2012

Meliponascutellaris Latreille has great economic and ecological importance, especially because it is a pollinator of native plant species. Despite the importance of this species, there is little information about the conservation status of their populations. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity in populations of M. scutellaris coming from a Semideciduous Forest Fragment and an Atlantic Forest Fragment in the Northeast Brazil, through geometric morphometric analysis of wings in worker bees. In each area, worker bees were collected from 10 colonies, 10 workers per colony. To assess the diversity on the right wings of worker bees, 15 landmarks were plotted and the measures were used in analysis of variance and multivariate analysis, principal component analysis, discriminant analysis and clustering analysis. There were significant differences in the shape of the wing venation patterns between colonies of two sites (Wilk'sλ = 0.000006; p < 0.000001), which is probably due to the geographical distance between places of origin which impedes the gene flow between them. It indicates that inter and intrapopulation morphometric variability exists (p <0.000001) in M. scutellaris coming from two different biomes, revealing the existence of diversity in these populations, which is necessary for the conservation of this bee species. Source

De Lyra Neves C.M.,Insecta Research Group | De Carvalho C.A.L.,Insecta Research Group | Souza A.V.,Insecta Research Group | De Lima Jr. C.A.,Insecta Research Group
Sociobiology | Year: 2012

Tetrapedia species are solitary bees which collect floral oils, being restricted to tropical regions of the Americas. Information on forms of nesting has been little researched in the literature, requiring studies on the diversity and variability of species to obtain better management and conservation strategies for their populations. Morphometry is a efficient technique and has been used to detect variation and for identification of species of bees in order to detect changes in quantitative traits within and among populations of bees. This study aimed to compare the variability of the population of Tetrapedia diversipes in artificial nests located in orchards and their surroundings (other fruit) of acerola in a restricted area of the Reconcavo region of Bahia, Brazil. Right wings were extracted from 155 individuals of the T. diversipes species, to perform the morphometric analysis. In conventional morphometry, 9 variables contributed significantly to the sexual dimorphism in the study areas (a = 0.05). The geometric morphometric analysis revealed low gene flow in populations of T. diversipes demonstrating loss of genetic diversity, requiring proper management of this bee for its conservation and maintenance of the associated flora. Source

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