A molecular maker for authenticating species origin of the stingless bee (Trigona collina) was developed. Initially, amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis was made of 11 stingless bee species using 64 primer combinations. A 316-bp band found only in T. collina was cloned and sequenced. A primer pair (CUTc1-F/R) was designed and tested for species-specificity in 15 stingless bee species (239 nests). The expected 259-bp fragment was consistently amplified in all T. collina individuals (134/134 nests, 100%).
We describe a case of a spontaneously established mixed colony of two species of stingless bees. The host colony of Scaptotrigona depilis, an aggressive bee that forms large colonies, was invaded by workers of Nannotrigona testaceicornis, a smaller bee that forms small colonies. The host colony and the invading species colony were maintained in next boxes about 1.5 m apart. The N. testaceicornis colony had been recently divided. Observations were made daily for 10 min, and every two weeks the colony was opened for observations within the nest.
We investigated the success of two stingless bee species in pollinating strawberries in greenhouses. Three greenhouses and one open field area were used; one greenhouse had only strawberry plants (control), another (G1) had three colonies of Scaptotrigona aff. depilis and another (G2) had three colonies of Nannotrigona testaceicornis. In the open field area, the flowers could be visited by any bee. The total production of fruits was counted and a random sample (N = 100) from each area was used to measure weight, length, circumference, and achenes number (N = 5).
We evaluated the ratio between the number of pollen foragers and the total number of bees entering colonies of Melipona bicolor, a facultative polygynous species of stingless bees. The variables considered in our analysis were: seasonality, colony size and the number of physogastric queens in each colony. The pollen forager ratios varied significantly between seasons; the ratio was higher in winter than in summer. However, colony size and number of queens per colony had no significant effect.
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.
We investigated hygienic behavior in 10 colonies of Plebeia remota, using the pin-killed method. After 24 h the bees had removed a mean of 69.6% of the dead brood. After 48 h, the bees had removed a mean of 96.4% of the dead brood. No significant correlation was found between the size of the brood comb and the number of dead pupae removed, and there was no apparent effect of the origin and the condition of the colony on the hygienic behavior of the bees.
Many factors have contributed to reductions in wild populations of stingless bees, such as: deforestation, displacement and destruction of nests by honey gatherers, as well as use of insecticides and other agrochemicals. All of these can potentially affect the populational structure of native species. We analyzed genetic variability and populational structure of Melipona scutellaris, based on five microsatellite loci, using heterologous primers of M. bicolor.