Nest Architecture of Tetragona clavipes (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini)

Raoni Duarte, Jairo Souza, Ademilson Espencer Egea Soares


The aim of this study was to describe the nest architecture of Tetragona clavipes colonies, and to compare its features with other stingless bee species. The measurements were made on 10 colonies in terms of brood chamber, brood cells, royal cells, food pots, pillars between combs, and population. Brood chamber (= 3117.9 ± 1230.6 cm3) of spiral-shaped combs were all in the center of the nest. The values of equatorial diameter of brood chambers (= 14.33 ± 3.03 cm) can be useful to scale bee boxes. The height and width of food pots (= 3.42 ± 0.39 cm; = 2.21 ± 0.23 cm), and brood cells (= 6.37 ± 0.32 mm; = 3.73 ± 0.35 mm) were statistically different among colonies. The measurements of the internal nest structures of T. clavipes were similar to the few other reported studies of this species. T. clavipes nests presented only few differences from other stingless bee species. This species has large potential for honey production, which has not yet been explored and deserves attention in future studies.


Beehives; native bees; nesting behavior; storage pots.

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Dr. Giorgio Cristino Venturieri

Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, Belém, Pará, Brasil.

Amazon stingless bees, bee pollination, pot-honey of stingless bees

Dr. Denise de Araujo Alves

Universidade de São Paulo, Campus Luiz de Queiroz, Departamento de Entomologia e Acarologia, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brasil.

Brazilian stingless bees, social behavior in bees, pollinators’ reproductive strategies.

Dr. Megan Halcroft

School for Health and Science, Hawkesbury Campus, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia

Australian stingless bees, honey, pollination ecology

Dr. Tim A. Heard

CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, EcoSciences Precinct, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Australian stingless bees, bee husbandry, crop pollination



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