BEE DIVERSITY AND THEIR FLORAL RESOURCES IN A FRAGMENT OF A TROPICAL ALTITUDINAL WET FOREST ("BREJOS DE ALTITUDE") IN NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL
The tropical wet forests occupy about 7% of the terrestrial surface; however, they contain more than half the species of the world biota. The Altitudinal forest of Northeast Brazil, locally known as Brejos de Altitude, occurs in altitudes above 500m and is located in the countryside where the landscape is mostly composed of Caatinga vegetation, forming islands of Atlantic forest inside the Caatinga. The present study was conducted in a fragment of those Brejos, in the district of Caruaru, Pernambuco State, Northeast Brazil (8º1836 S, 36º0000 W). The main focus was to study the diversity of bees and their floral resources, including flower phenology. The bees were captured every two weeks, between May 1998 and January 2000. Sixty-seven species of bee plants from 29 families were listed. The most representative ones were: Fabaceae (10 spp.), Convolvulaceae (7), Asteraceae (5), Caesalpiniaceae (3), Melastomataceae (3), Mimosaceae (3) and Passifloraceae (3). Concerning the bees, 544 individuals (101 species) were captured. Six families were registered: Anthophoridae (54 spp.), Apidae (13), Megachilidae (13), Halictidae (12), Colletidae (5) and Andrenidae (4). Considering the fact that the study site is in a fragmented, isolated and discontinuous area, the richness of bees was high. In the study area, Apis mellifera visited preferentially cultivated plants like Sechium edule Swaart (Curcubitaceae), thus there was low overlap concerning the forage behaviour of this bee compared to the other bee species.
Locatelli, E. and Machado, I.C. (2001). BEE DIVERSITY AND THEIR FLORAL RESOURCES IN A FRAGMENT OF A TROPICAL ALTITUDINAL WET FOREST ("BREJOS DE ALTITUDE") IN NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL. Acta Hortic. 561, 317-326
Bee plants, Bee diversity; Wild bee fauna; Altitudinal forest; phenology; mellitophily