MADRAS AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL

Effect of Season and Timings on the Foraging Behaviour of Stingless Bee, Tetragonulairidipennis Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Abstract

                                Stingless bees are the smallest eusocial bees and crucial pollinators of tropical and subtropical ecosystems. The aim of this study is to analyse the foraging pattern and variability in resource intake of Tetragonula iridipennis Smith among different times and months. Foraging pattern of a T. iridipennis colony for pollen, nectar and resin reward collection was recorded from December 2017 to March 2018. The observations revealed that there is a difference in foraging activity within same day during different time interval as well as between months. Both pollen and nectar foraging activity was least during early morning (7.00 am to 9.00 am) hours whereas, resin foragers started their foraging activity as early as 7.00 am to 8.00 am. The pollen foraging activity attained peak from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm, resin foraging activity attained peak from 8.00 am to 11.00 but nectar foraging was observed more in noon and evening hours (12.00 pm to 5.00 pm). Foraging for all types of rewards (pollen, nectar and resin) was observed more during the month of March followed by February.

Key words : Tetragonula iridipennis, Foraging, Pollen, Nectar, Resin.