Drone congregations in Meliponini: what do they tell us?
AbstractAt some point during their life, meliponine males leave their nests and form congregations which can be made up of tens up to several hundreds of individuals. There, males, which individually may frequent the same agglomeration for subsequent days, are seen to dehydrate nectar. Analyses in four species of Melipona show that the sugar concentration of the nectars from congregated males is positively correlated with ambient temperature, and that the volume and percentage of sugars is always lower than nectars sampled from returning foragers. Except for what they can carry off from their home colony, other sources from which congregated males may obtain their nectar are still unknown.
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