Currently, the identification of pollinators is a critical necessity of conservation programs. After it was found that features extracted from patterns of wing venation are sufficient to discriminate among insect species, various studies have focused on this structure. We examined wing venation patterns of males and workers of five stingless bee species in order to determine if there are differences between sexes and if these differences are greater within than between species.
We report the infestation of stingless bee nests by the mite Pyemotes tritici, which killed four colonies of Tetragonisca angustula and one colony of Frieseomelitta varia in Brazil. The first infected colony, a colony of T. angustula, came from an area between Uberlândia and Araguari, Minas Gerais. The transfer of the mites to the other colonies occurred through the transfer of infected combs and subsequent manipulations. Other colonies in the same meliponary, which had not been manipulated, were not infected.
Hygienic behavior, a trait that may confer resistance to brood diseases in the honey bee Apis mellifera, was studied in two species of stingless bees in Mexico. Eight colonies each of Melipona beecheii and Scaptotrigona pectoralis were tested for hygienic behavior, the removal of dead or diseased brood, by freeze killing a comb of sealed cells containing pupae. Both species detected and removed dead brood. However, removal rates differed between species. In M.
The pollination effectiveness of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera was tested in tomato plots. The experiment was conducted in four greenhouses as well as in an external open plot in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. The tomato plants were exposed to visits by M. quadrifasciata in one greenhouse and to A. mellifera in another; two greenhouses were maintained without bees (controls) and an open field plot was exposed to pollinators in an area where both honey bee and stingless bee colonies are abundant.
Hydrolytic enzymes from hypopharyngeal gland extracts of newly emerged, nurse and foraging workers of two eusocial bees, Scaptotrigona postica, a native Brazilian stingless bee, and the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera) in Brazil, were compared. The hypopharyngeal gland is rich in enzymes in both species. Fifteen different enzymes were found in the extracts, with only a few quantitative differences between the species. Some of the enzymes present in the extracts may have intracellular functions, while others seem to be digestive enzymes.
Within the Meliponini, a widely distributed group of stingless bees, Melipona rufiventris has been considered as a single, cohesive species. Recently, analysis of morphological characters led to the splitting of this species into two species, M. mondury and M. rufiventris. The former occurs in the Atlantic Rain Forest ranging from Santa Catarina to Bahia States, while the latter is found in other parts of Brazil. We used PCR + RFLP to identify genetic marker patterns of the mtDNA between these species.