Nest architecture and life cycle of Small Carpenter bee, Ceratina binghami Cockerell (Xylocopinae: Apidae: Hymenoptera)
Keywords:Caesalpinia, Ceratina, foraging, nesting, life cycle, nest architecture
The small carpenter bee, Ceratina binghami (Xylocopinae:Apidae) is an important pollinator of many agricultural and horticultural crops. The nests constructed by the bee in the pruned pithy stems of Caesalpinia pulcherrima were collected to study its biology under laboratory conditions. The bee constructs its nest in the pithy stems of different plants by chewing over the pith layer. The bee is oligolectic in habit and make pollen balls and provision its broods in the cells with an interesting guarding behavior in the nest. The nests consisted of egg, larvae, prepupae, pupae and adult stages. Life cycle of the bee was completed in 41.67±3.12 days. Pupal stage consisted of different colors of eye pigmentation. Foraging activity of the bee started during morning hours approximately between 6.45 to 7.15 am and ended during the late evening hours of 4.50 to 5.15 pm. The nest architecture of the bee was studied and presented. The nesting behavior and short life cycle of C. binghami in pithy stems of C. pulcherrima helps in the in-situ conservation and utilization of the bee species in the pollination of agricultural crops.
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