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Volume 33, Number 4, July-August 2002
Page(s) 375 - 388

Apidologie 33 (2002) 375-388
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2002023

Sounds in Melipona costaricensis (Apidae: Meliponini): effect of sugar concentration and nectar source distance

Ingrid Aguilara and Daniel Briceñob

a  Centro de Investigaciones Apícolas Tropicales, Universidad Nacional, PO Box, 475-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica
b  Escuela de Biología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica

(Received 7 July 2001; revised 2 January 2002; accepted 13 February 2002)

The principal finding presented here is that Melipona costaricensis produces sounds that vary significantly in relation to varying sugar concentrations. Several components of the sounds produced, during the bees' stay inside of the hive, were positively correlated with sugar concentration: song duration, probability of sound production, duration of the long pulses and the relationship between short / long pulsed sound. Number of pulses per song was negatively correlated with sugar concentrations. The duration of all sound pulses was significantly correlated with the distance of the food source. Duration of the short pulses and interpulses were significantly affected by the distance of the food source. Sounds may contribute to the recruitment of nestmates to increasingly rich food supplies during the day. It is clear that aspects of the sound signals are correlated with profitability of food sources.

Key words: sound production / sugar concentration / distance / food source / stingless bees

Correspondence and reprints: Ingrid Aguilar

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2002