A comparative study of foraging behavior and pollen resources of various stingless bees hymenoptera meliponinae and honey bees hymenoptera apinae in trinidad west indies

De Bruijn L.L.M.

Apidologie 14(3): 205-224


ISSN/ISBN: 0044-8435
Accession: 004558516

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A comparative palynological analysis of pollen resources of various stingless bees and honeybees revealed a considerable overlap of pollen spectra of these bees. Certain pollen types were of different importance to the various bee species. Colonies of the same Melipona species had a very similar spectrum. The widths of the pollen spectra of the different bee species appeared more related to the natural population size of the colony than to the body size of the bees. At the start of the rainy season a shift to other pollen resources were recorded in some bees. Certain plants continued as a major pollen resource for other bees, e.g., coconut for the honeybees. The stingless bees principally collected pollen in the morning and nectar in the afternoon. In individual foragers of Melipona favosa we could not observe a sequence in the collecting of nectar and pollen. Exclusive pollen foragers and exclusive nectar foragers had a different trophallaxis behavior. Pollen returnees solicit for food before unloading their corbiculae and nectar returnees offer spontaneously. This is the only occasion in which spontaneous food donations by workers of stingless bees were observed.