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Don’t stay out too long! Thermal tolerance of the stingless bees Melipona subnitida decreases with increasing exposure time to elevated temperatures

Abstract : In hot climates, foraging bees risk overheating during food collection. Here, we investigated influence of ambient temperature on the foraging activity in Melipona subnitida, a stingless bee species that naturally occurs in the hottest and driest regions of the Brazilian tropical dry forest. We observed a decrease in round-trip duration of pollen foragers with increasing ambient temperature. Foraging duration of nectar collectors, however, was not affected by the thermal conditions of the environment. When exposed to heat stress in incubators, the upper thermal limits of foragers decreased with increasing exposure time. Moreover, individuals with previous access to liquid food showed higher critical and lethal temperatures than unfed bees. Our study revealed plastic changes in the upper thermal limit of M. subnitida, which help to understand the foraging activity pattern of this stingless bee species.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03372628
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Submitted on : Monday, October 11, 2021 - 5:14:24 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:15:49 PM
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Camila Maia-Silva, Jaciara da Silva Pereira, Breno M. Freitas, Michael Hrncir. Don’t stay out too long! Thermal tolerance of the stingless bees Melipona subnitida decreases with increasing exposure time to elevated temperatures. Apidologie, 2021, 52 (1), pp.218-229. ⟨10.1007/s13592-020-00811-z⟩. ⟨hal-03372628⟩

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