Interactions on floral resources between the Africanized honey bee Apis mellifera L and the native bee community (Hymenoptera : Apoidea) in a natural "cerrado" ecosystem in southeast BrazilS.R. de Menezes Pedro and J.M.F. de Camargo
Depto de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto - USP 14049, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
Abstract - Interactions between Apis mellifera and the native bee community, in 1 hectare of a regrowth "cerrado" with typical open-scrub vegetation and tropical climate, at Cajurú, São Paulo state, Brazil, were analysed for relative abundance, phenology and flower visits. Bees on flowers were netted every 14 d for a year, totalling 624 h of sampling. 4 086 individuals, representing 192 species and 6 families of Apoidea, visited 140 of the 184 plant species sampled in the area. A mellifera, the second most abundant bee species, was present in a small proportion of the floral sources visited by bees, some of them not primarily melittophilous. Most of the Anthophoridae, Halictidae and Megachilidae exploited plants not visited by A mellifera. Even the Meliponinae, the most similar in morphological and behavioral attributes to Apis mellifera overlapped with Apis on few plant species.
Key words: Africanized honeybee / Apoidea / Meliponinae / food competition / bee plant