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Stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is eusocial insects that live together in a colony. This research was aimed to study the nesting site characteristics of stingless bees in the settlement areas at Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The nesting sites were observed by purposive sampling method from July 2015 to January 2016. Four species belong to genus Tetragonula were found, namely T. fuscobalteata, T. biroi, T. sapiens, and T. laeviceps. Two spesies, T. biroi and T. sapiens are the new record in Sulawesi island. The highest abundance of stingless bees colony was T. fuscobalteata (92.26%), followed by T. biroi (4.17%), T. sapiens (2.98%), and T. laeviceps (0.59%). Nesting sites of T. fuscobalteata were found in the stone, brick wall, wooden wall, bamboo, and iron cavities, T. biroi in the wooden wall, stone, and brick wall cavities, T. sapiens in stone cavities, while T. laeviceps in wooden walls.
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Journal of Insect Biodiversity 5(10): 1-9, 2017
Nesting sites characteristics of stingless bees (Hymenoptera:
Apidae) in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Nelky Suriawanto1 Tri Atmowidi1* Sih Kahono2
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bogor Agricultural University,
Dramaga Campus, Bogor 16680, Indonesia. 2Zoology Division, Research Center for Biology-LIPI, Bogor
16911, Indonesia. *Corresponding author e-mail:
Abstract: Stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is eusocial insects that live together in a
colony. This research was aimed to study the nesting site characteristics of stingless bees in
the settlement areas at Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The nesting sites were observed by
purposive sampling method from July 2015 to January 2016. Four species belong to genus
Tetragonula were found, namely T. fuscobalteata, T. biroi, T. sapiens, and T. laeviceps. Two
spesies, T. biroi and T. sapiens are the new record in Sulawesi island. The highest abundance
of stingless bees colony was T. fuscobalteata (92.26%), followed by T. biroi (4.17%), T.
sapiens (2.98%), and T. laeviceps (0.59%). Nesting sites of T. fuscobalteata were found in
the stone, brick wall, wooden wall, bamboo, and iron cavities, T. biroi in the wooden wall,
stone, and brick wall cavities, T. sapiens in stone cavities, while T. laeviceps in wooden
Key words: Nesting sites, Stingless bees, Tetragonula, Settlement area, Central Sulawesi.
The diversity of stingless bees vary among different ecosystems. The most diverse
commonly is found in the natural forest and gradually reduce in secondary forest, utilized
forest, and settlement area, respectively (Boontop et al. 2008; Salim et al. 2012; Kelly et al.
2014; Syafrizal et al. 2014; Rahman et al. 2015). Generally, lowland ecosystem has more
diverse of stingless bees than highland ecosystem (Sakagami & Inoue 1989; Salim et al.
2012). In the settlement areas, nests of stingless bees usually are found in the part of
buildings and houses, i.e., roof and wooden wall cavities.
Nesting sites of stingless bees Suriawanto et al.
The nesting sites, nest structure, and characteristics of nest entrance are characters can
be used for identification of stingless bees species. The nest entrance of stingless bees varied
in shape, length, and colour (Syafrizal et al. 2014; Kelly et al. 2014). For examples, nest
entrance of Heterotrigona itama is funnel shape, whereas, in Geniotrigona thoracica is round
mount-like shape (Kelly et al. 2014). The common structure of stingless bees nests consists
of entrance tunnels, brood cells, food storages (honey and pollen cells), cerumen and batumen
layers (Sakagami et al. 1983; Starr & Sakagami 1987; Michener 2007; Boongird 2011;
Erniwati 2013).
Sulawesi island has a high degree of endemicism of plants and animals. Honey bee,
Apis nigrocincta is endemic species in Sulawesi (Hadisoesilo 2001; Engel 2012). The other
endemic of stingless bee species in Sulawesi is Geniotrigona incisa that found in Central
Sulawesi forest in the altitude more than 900 m above sea level (Sakagami & Inoue 1989).
Central Sulawesi has different land use, such as plantation, agriculture, secondary forest,
primary forest, and settlement areas that favorable for nesting and foraging sites of stingless
bees. Until now, bee keeping of stingless bees in Sulawesi is very limited. People prefer to
keep honey bee, Apis cerana for honey production rather than stingless bees. The nesting
sites of stingless bees in the settlement areas in Central Sulawesi were described in this study.
Material and methods
Study Sites
The study was conducted from July 2015 to January 2016 in Watumaeta, Lore Utara Sub-
distric, Poso Regency (01o23'57,1" S, 120o19'30,0" E; 1.200 m asl), Pakuli, Gumbasa Sub-
distric, Sigi Regency (01o13'51,0" S, 119o56'43,2" E; 130 m asl), and Purwosari, Torue Sub-
distric, Parigi Moutong Regency (00o58'31,0" S, 120o19'04,8" E; 10 m asl). Observations of
stingless bees were conducted in settlement areas in Watumaeta village (about 20.000 ha),
Pakuli village (about 502 ha) and Purwosari village (about 94 ha), respectively.
Observation of Stingless Bee Nesting Sites
Observations of stingless bee nesting sites were carried out in 90 days, consist of 30 days in
Watumaeta (July 2015), 30 days in Pakuli (August 2015), and 30 days in Purwosari
(September 2015) using purposive sampling method (Tongco 2007). The nest characters
observed were location of nesting sites, nest-entrance measurements (length, diameter, height
from ground surface), shapes (funnel, mount-like, or round-ringed), colour (brown, black, or
light brown), and rigidity (soft or hard) (Kelly et al. 2014).
Collection, Preservation, and Identification of Stingless Bee specimens
Collection of workers stingless bee of each colony were conducted by using sweep net. The
specimens collected (10 individuals of each colony) were put into a bottle with 90% ethanol.
Stingless bee specimens were preserved in the laboratory of Entomology, Zoology Division,
Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Bogor, Indonesia. The
stingless bee specimens were identified based on Sakagami (1978), Sakagami & Inoue
(1987), Dollin et al. (1997), Sakagami et al. (1990), and Smith (2012). All specimens were
also verified with specimen collections of the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense (MZB),
Bogor, Indonesia.
Data Analysis
Statistical analysis of one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test were used to compare the diameter,
length, and height of the nest entrance from the ground surface among three species of
Journal of Insect Biodiversity 5(10): 1-9, 2017
Tetragonula. All the analysis used software Paleontological Statistics (PAST) ver. 1.89
(Hammer et al., 2009).
Species and Nesting Sites of Stingless Bees
A total of 168 colonies which belong to four species of stingless bees were found in
this study. Three, ninety three, and seventy two colonies were found in Watumaeta, Pakuli,
and Purwosari, respectively. Four species of stingless bee were identified, namely
Tetragonula fuscobalteata, T. laeviceps, T. biroi, and T. sapiens. Two stingless bee species
were recorded in each vilage. Tetragonula fuscobalteata and T. sapiens were found in Pakuli,
T. laeviceps and T. biroi were found in Watumaeta, while T. fuscobalteata and T. biroi were
collected in Purwosari.
The workers of each bee species have varied morphological characteristics (Fig 1).
Tetragonula fuscobalteata has 3.47-3.54 mm body length, blackish-brown of body color,
mesoscutum with six longitudinal hair bands, each band separated by five conspicuous
glabrous areas (Fig. 1A). Tetragonula laeviceps has 3.40-3.43 mm body length, black body
color, metasoma with brown color, first and second tergum are pale, while fourth and fifth
tergum are dark. Mesoscutum is hairy, vertex is blackish and not banded, and anterior hind
tibia is hairy (Fig. 1B). Workers of T. biroi had 4.00 - 4,17 mm body length, body color
predominantly black, abdomen is brownish, clypeus and tegula are dark, mesoscutum and
mesoscutellum with black hairs, malar space clearly separate the mandible and eyes (Fig.
1C). Workers of T. sapiens had 3.69-3.80 mm body length, black body color, metasoma is
brown, first and second tergum are blackish-brown, and blackish in the apical. Mesoscutum
consisted of glabrous areas and anterior hind tibia with dark to blackish-brown hairs, while in
the posterior is brownish-yellow (Fig. 1D).
The highest number of colonies found was T. fuscobalteata (155 colonies), followed
by T. biroi (7 colonies), T. sapiens (5 colonies), and T. laeviceps (1 colony). The nesting sites
of Tetragonula were found in the parts of the houses, such as stone, brick, wooden, bamboo,
and iron cavities. The highest number of T. fuscobalteata colonies was found in wooden wall
(74 colonies), followed by stone cavity (40 colonies), brick wall (31 colonies), bamboo (6
colonies), and iron cavity (4 colonies). The nesting sites of T. biroi were found in the wooden
wall (3 colonies), stone cavity (2 colonies), and brick wall (2 colonies). While, nesting sites
of T. sapiens were found in stone cavity (5 colonies) and nesting site of T. laeviceps was
found in wooden wall (1 colony) (Table 1).
Characteristics of nest entrance
Characteristics of nest entrance are properties that can be used to identify species of
stingless bees. In average, the diameter and length of nest entrance are 1.86 + 1.40 cm and
2.23 + 2.52 cm in T. biroi, 2.18 + 1.27 cm and 1.88 + 0.95 cm in T. sapiens, and 1.24 + 0.49
cm and 3.70 + 3.88 cm in T. fuscobalteata. The diameter and the height of nest entrance of T.
sapiens and T. fuscobalteata were significanly different (p=0.002 and p= 0.009), but the
length of nest entrance among three species of Tetragonula was not significanly different
(p>0.05) (Table 2). Unfortunately, there was no data available of the diameter and length of
nest entrance of T. laeviceps, because the entrance was accidentally destroyed. The highest
position of nest entrance from the ground surface occured in T. laeviceps (321.00 cm),
Nesting sites of stingless bees Suriawanto et al.
Figure 1. Worker adults of Tetragonula species. A, Tetragonula fuscobalteata; B, T. laeviceps; C,
T. biroi; D, T. sapiens.
Tabel 1. Number of colony of stingless bees found in different nesting sites in Central Sulawesi
Number of colony found (colony)
Brick wall
Iron cavity
Percentage (%)
Tetragonula biroi
Tetragonula fuscobalteata
Tetragonula sapiens
Tetragonula laeviceps
followed by T. fuscobalteata (116.90 + 67.54 cm), T. biroi (56.64 + 38.08 cm), and T.
sapiens (1.88 + 4.71 cm) (Table 2).
The shape, color, and rigidity of nest entrance varied in each species of Tetragonula.
Characteristics of nest entrance of T. biroi are a funnel shape, mount-like, and round-ringed,
color are black and light-brown, and soft rigidity. Nest entrance of T. sapiens is characterized
by mount-like shape, round-ringed, black in color, and soft rigidity. Funnel shape, black and
light-brown in color, and soft rigidity are characters of nest entrance of T. fuscobalteata,
while, brown in color and hard rigidity are characters of nest entrance of T. laeviceps (Table
Journal of Insect Biodiversity 5(10): 1-9, 2017
Table 2. Size of nest entrance: diameter, length, and height of the entrance from the ground surface of
four species of Tetragonula.
Diameter (cm)
Length (cm)
Height from ground surface
T. biroi (n=7)
F, R,
T. sapiens (n=5)
M, R
T. fuscobalteata (n=156)
T. laeviceps (n=1)
Note: standart deviation, F=funnel (tube-like), M=mount-like, R=round-ringed, Br=brown, Bl=black, Lb=light
brown, S=soft, H=hard, na=data not available. Different letter(s) in the same column indicated significant difference
among means based Tukey’s test.
Figure 2. Nest entrance of Tetragonula species. A, T. fuscobalteata; B, T. laeviceps; C, T. biroi; D,
T. sapiens.
Nesting sites of stingless bees Suriawanto et al.
All species stingless bees found in this study belong to the genus Tetragonula. The
genus is small body size (Sakagami 1978; Smith 2012) and distributed in wide range in the
world. Genus Tetragonula has been reported in the Asia continental and Sri Lanka (Sakagami
1978), Indian subcontinent (Rasmussen 2013), Southeast Asia (Sakagami & Inoue 1985),
Thailand (Schwarz 1939; Sakagami et al. 1985; Michener & Boongird 2004; Klakasikorn et
al. 2005; Boontop et al. 2008; Boongird 2011), Vietnam (Chinh et al. 2005), Peninsular
Malaysia (Rasmussen & Michener 2010; Salim et al. 2012), Philippines (Starr & Sakagami
1987), and Indonesia (Erniwati 2013). In Indonesia, genus Tetragonula has been reported in
Sumatra (Sakagami et al. 1990), Samarinda-East Kalimantan (Syafrizal et al. 2014), Sulawesi
(Schwarz 1939), Maluku and Irian Jaya (Dollin et al. 1997).
Four species, T. fuscobalteata, T. laeviceps, T. biroi and T. sapiens were collected in
the study and the most abundant colony was T. fuscobalteata, followed by T. biroi, T.
sapiens, and T. laeviceps. Previous study showed that in Sulawesi islands were reported three
species of stingless bee, namely T. fuscobalteata (Schwarz 1939), Geniotrigona insica as
endemic species in Sulawesi (Sakagami & Inoue 1989), and T. laeviceps (Erniwati 2013).
Tetragonula biroi had been reported in the Philippines (Oceanic Islands) and New Guinea
(Starr & Sakagami 1987; Dollin et al. 1997). While, T. sapiens had been reported in
Indonesia (Maluku), Philippines, New Guinea, and Australia (Dollin et al. 1997; Rasmussen
2008; Smith 2012). Both species, T. biroi and T. sapiens found in this study were the new
record from Sulawesi islands. The common species found in Sulawesi is T. fuscobalteata.
The species was distributed in the Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, peninsular Malaysia,
Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Palau Island, Caroline Island, and Philippines (Palawan and
Oceanic Islands) (Rasmussen 2008; Smith 2012).
In Sulawesi, nest of Tetragonula commonly were found in the part of the houses, such
as wooden wall, brick, and stone cavities. Nesting sites of Tetragonula in the settlement areas
had been reported, such as T. laeviceps, T. minangkabau (Sakagami et al. 1983; Erniwati
2013), T. fuscobalteata, and T. sapiens (Starr & Sakagami 1987). Nest of Tetragonula also
were found in forest areas, such as dry dipterocarp forest, upper mixed deciduous forest,
lower mixed deciduous forest, and dry evergreen forest in Thailand (Boontop et al. 2008),
dipterocarp reserve forest in Peninsular Malaysia (Salim et al. 2012), and Lempake Education
Forest in east Kalimantan (Syafrizal et al. 2014). Their nests also are adaptable in open
forests and grasslands (Inoue et al. 1984). These species often built their nest in the hollow
trunk as well as on termite and ants nests (Michener 1974; Sakagami 1982). Results showed
that nests of T. fuscobalteata were highest in the wooden wall (74 colonies) than in the stone
cavity, brick wall, bamboo, and iron cavity. While, all nests of T. sapiens found (5 colonies)
in stone cavity and one colony of T. laeviceps was found in wooden wall. The nesting sites of
T. biroi were found in the wooden wall, stone cavities, and brick walls. In the Philippines,
Starr & Sakagami (1987) reported 26 colonies of T. fuscobalteta and 7 colonies of T. sapiens
nest in bamboo cavities. As reported by Sakagami et al. (1983), nests of T. laeviceps can be
found in some parts of houses and the nests also were found in hollow of tree with diameter
30-50 cm (Chinh et al. 2005; Kelly et al. 2014). In Karnataka, India, T. iridipennis build its
nest around the manmade structures, such as residential, educational areas, and road sides
parks that made by different substratum (brick walls, rock crevices, pillars, metallic sheath,
and water pipes) (Pavithra et al. 2013).
The shape, color and rigidity of nest entrance of Tetragonula varied between species
(Fig. 2). Nest entrance properties of stingless bees related to many factors, such as age of
nest, microclimate, predators, parasites, and symbionts (Roubik 2006). The size of nest
Journal of Insect Biodiversity 5(10): 1-9, 2017
entrance of stingles bees also varied (Kelly et al. 2014). Starr & Sakagami (1987) stated that
the nest entrance of T. sapiens and T. fuscobalteata are tube-like with many variations of
texture, diameter, and length. Variation of nest entrances related to defense and foraging
activities of stingless bees (Biesmeijer et al. 2005).
We are grateful to Chief of Watumaeta, Pakuli, and Purwosari villages for giving us
to conduct the study and Rizka, Iwan, and Rendy as field assistants. Thanks to all staffs at
the Laboratory of Animal Biosystematics and Ecology, Department of Biology, Faculty of
Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bogor Agricultural University and the researchers and
staffs at the Laboratory of Entomology, Zoology Division, Research Center for Biology
(LIPI) for giving assistance in identification of stingless bee specimens. Special thanks to Dr.
Clause Rasmussen and Anne E. Dollin, PhD for valuable references.
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Correspondence: Tri Atmowidi, e-mail:
Received: 05.04.2017 Accepted: 05.06.2017 Published: 13.06.2017
Cite paper: Suriawanto N., Atmowidi T. & Kahono S. 2017. Nesting sites characteristics of stingless bees
(Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Journal of Insect Biodiversity 5(10): 19.
... The richness and abundance of stingless bees vary among habitat types. Their most diverse habitat is natural forests, followed by secondary and utilized forests, and farm lands (Suriawanto et al. 2017;Njoya et al. 2018). In general, lower altitude environments have more diverse stingless bee species than higher altitudes (Salim et al. 2012). ...
... Brood cells are arranged either in horizontal or vertical cells with full combs or semi-combs, or in clustered cells (Kajobe 2007). The nest entrance of stingless bees also varies in shape, length and colour, which can be used for taxonomic studies (Suriawanto et al. 2017;Njoya et al. 2019). It has, indeed, been confirmed that stingless bees nest characteristics are useful in taxonomic studies, particularly in tropical African countries (Kajobe and Roubik 2006) like in Ethiopia, where a few have been studied. ...
... The diversity of stingless bees varies among different habitats and, usually, species diversity is the highest in natural forests (Nkoba et al. 2012;Suriawanto et al. 2017). In the present study, only two species of stingless bees were found in diverse habitats, but occupying two distinct nesting substrate types. ...
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Stingless bees play a key role in natural environments and human economy because of their pollination services and high-value products. However, information on their nesting habitats and nest characteristics is scarce for almost all Ethiopian stingless bee species. To gain insights into the nest ecology and biology of stingless bees in the country, different habitats from 11 districts were assessed and general nest properties, such as entrance dimension, shape, entrance tunnel length, nest size, nesting substrate and internal nest architecture, were characterized. A total of 49 natural nests of two stingless bee species belonging to two genera: Meliponula and Liotrigona were found. The 47 nests of Meliponula baccarii (M. baccarii) (Gribodo) were found under the ground at an average depth of 50.50 ± 9.32 cm in three different soil types, while the two nests of Liotrigona bottegoi (L. bottegoi) were found in the cavities of Albizia shimperiana trunks at the heights of 2.8 and 3.0 m above the ground. Nest architecture and biology differed greatly between species but similar within each. Though the basic nest architecture and biology were similar within the species, they varied in size from nest to nest. The above characteristics therefore can be used for the management and conservation of the species. Finally, the data on nesting substrates, nest architecture and nest biology are of outmost importance for future designing suitable bee hives for keeping both species and also to conserve the natural nesting sites for their future utilization in pollination.
... In Indonesia, stingless bees have various names, including teuwel (Sundanese), galo-galo (Minang) (Syafrizal et al. 2020), tannese (Central Sulawesi) (Suriawanto 2017), and klanceng (Java) (Trianto and Purwanto 2020a). Around 200 species of stingless bees are estimated to exist in the tropics and subtropics (Barbosa et al. 2016), and approximately 50 species of stingless bees have been identified in Southeast Asia. ...
... These conditions have led to the low abundance of stingless bees in urban habitats. Suriawanto (2017) described that the misconception about stingless bees may partly explain the decreased abundance of these insects and that efforts must be exerted to manage information from various aspects. ...
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Trianto M, Purwanto H. 2021. Diversity, abundance, and distribution patterns of stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 23: 695-702. Stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) are eusocial insects with high economic value in terms of their honey and propolis yield. The bees are widely distributed in tropical regions, including Indonesia. This study aimed to estimate the diversity, abundance, and distribution pattern of stingless bees in the Special Region of Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia. The following seven species of stingless bees have been identified in previous research: Tetragonula laeviceps, T. iridipennis, T. biroi, T. sapiens, T. sarawakensis, Heterotrigona itama, and Lepidotrigona terminata. The current work determined the scores of diversity (H’: 0.98), abundance (N: 14.0 ind/m2), and distribution pattern (id: 0.51) of stingless bees in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The results were analyzed and then subjected to principal component analysis to determine the dominant characteristics on the basis of the environmental parameters that influence the presence of stingless bees in three habitat types in the Special Region of Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia. Results revealed that temperature is one such environmental parameter affecting the presence of stingless bees in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
... nal Ilmu Kehutanan 16(2):159-170 The majority of the cultivated colonies were transplanted from the artificial hives, which were placed near the house doors and foundations as well as bamboo house supports. Furthermore, the availability of abundant forage plants, which were planted by humans was a factor that influenced their survival in this area.Suriawanto (2017) stated that T. fuscobalteata was the most common species in the rural areas of Sulawesi. This is in line with a recent study, where it was cultivated on Lombok Island.Tetragonula laeviceps was a species of stingless bees widely cultivated in Java. Furthermore, it was often used for the production of beekeeping products as well as a poll ...
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The success of stingless beekeeping was supported by site suitability and the availability of floral sources. Bee feed is an important requirement for the sustainability of stingless beekeeping because it determines the qualities and quantities of bee products. The study aimed to examine the level of feed preference for stingless bees. The research location was divided into three types, i.e., agroecosystems, forests, and settlements. Acetolysis of the pollen where came from the hive was used to examine the foraging preferences of stingless bees. The results of the study were four species of stingless bee were identified, i.e., Tetragonula fuscobalteata, Tetragonula laeviceps, Tetragonula clypearis, and Heterotrigona erythrogastra. Based on the results of the data analysis, T. fuscobalteata was mostly cultivated in the settlement areas, T. laeviceps and T. clypearis were mostly found at the sites that were close to the agroecosystems, while H. erythrogastra was cultivated near the forest areas. The pollen that be favorite feed plants of Tetragonula was Bromeliaceae and Cyperaceae, while for H. erythrogastra, Rubiaceae was the preference of forage plants. However, the PCA showed that the preference of forage plants for the beekeeping of stingless bees was influenced by the availability of feed sources around their hives.
... In the present study, we found that the common distribution of bamboo species in Southern Yunnan works as natural trap nests for sympatric stingless bee species. This bamboo-stingless bee nesting interaction has been observed and utilized in several countries of China-Indo-Australian tropical areas, such as Australia, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China (Inoue et al. 1984;Starr and Sakagami 1987;Kumar et al. 2012;Salim et al. 2012;Singh 2013;Suriawanto et Many nest characteristics can be evaluated by scouts of swarming social bees, such as the diameter of the trap nest, size of entrance, volume, and even the height of the cavities. The honey bee has a larger body size as well as population density than most stingless bees, showing a preference for trap nests with a larger entrance (12.5 cm 2 ) and overall volume (20-100 L with an average of 40 L). ...
More than 550 stingless bee species have been found in the tropical and subtropical areas across the world. Different stingless bee species inhabit various types of nests, such as tree hollows, walls, lime stone crevices, or even co-nest with other live creatures such as ants and termites underground. These cavity-nesting habits make it difficult to estimate the colony size of the stingless bees. Stingless bee species native to southwest China are sympatric with many species of bamboo, and the straight shape of bamboo provides an easier method to estimate the size of the colony and the volume preference of stingless bee in selecting trap nests. Here, we reported bamboo nest characteristics measurement with its height, diameter, entrance size, a calculation its inner volume capacity to determine the stingless bee nesting preference in bamboo. The results showed that two stingless bee species, Lepidotrigona flavibasis and Tetragonula gressitti, all nest in the bamboo; the size of entrance that was preferred by T. gressitti was around 10.71 ± 2.38 cm2, compared with the preference by L. flavibasis for small nest entrance area around 1.33 ± 0.25 cm2. Accordingly, the volume of the internode of the bamboo was 2272.37 ± 126.7 mL compared to 4493.35 ± 466.91 mL chosen by L. flavibasis and T. gressitti, respectively. Interestingly, both stingless bee species preferred to living bamboo rather than the dead bamboo as a nesting site. This study indicates that cheap and easily accessible bamboo could be used as trap nests for stingless bees, and the preference volumes of different species suggest what the various colony sizes of stingless bee swarms might be. Selecting a proper species-specific characteristics of bamboo internode as trap nest benefits us in researching, conserving, and keeping for stingless bees.
... The crop plants grown including papaya, banana, sweet potato, cassava, eggplant, and long beans among else. With ample diversity of crop plants in the polyculture garden, in addition to the common existence of stingless bee Tetragonula laeviceps in various habitats in tropics [6], it is interesting to know how this stingless bee species uses natural resources for developing its colonies. ...
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Tetragonula laeviceps is the most widely distributed stingless bee species in tropics. The observation on foraging activity of stingless bee workers of Tetragonula laeviceps had been done from September to December 2020 at a polyculture cropland in Batusangkar, Tanah Datar Regency, West Sumatra. The study aimed to determine the pattern of foraging activity of this species at a cropland with vegetation mixture and to identify the relationships between environmental factors i.e., temperature, humidity, and light intensity, to the foraging activity. The stingless bee workers were observed hourly for fifteen minutes from 6 am to 6 pm at their nest entrance, focusing on what they carry when leaving and entering colony. The observation was conducted on seven consecutive days within a week. The natural resources that stingless bee workers brought into their nest were identified and noted along with the number of workers carried certain natural resource. The analysis on observation data showed that the going-out of stingless bee workers for resources peaked at 9 am. The resource carried the most by stingless bee workers into their nest were pollen. Statistical analysis revealed that 78% of foraging activities for resources and nest material in Tetragonula laeviceps were influenced by environmental factors.
... Results showed that the shape of the entrance may be slit-like, circular, oval, slot shape, elliptical, funnel-like, or earlike, and the shape, and size direction of the entrance varies according to the nest site condition. In addition,Suriawanto et al. (2017) found out that the nesting sites of T. fuscobalteata were located in the stone, brick walls, wooden walls, bamboo, and iron cavities, T. biroi in the wooden wall, stone, and brick wall cavities, T. sapiens in stone cavities, while T. laeviceps in wooden walls.However, in the investigation byMacedo et al. (2020), 69.98% of the nests were observed in only two tree species: Commiphora leptophloeos (Mart.) JB Gillet (46.66%) and Poincianella pyramidalis (Tul.), (23.32%). ...
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The study aimed to identify the stingless bee relationships, determine the population distribution of feral colonies and determine the nest trees of stingless bees in Barangays Busing and Terraplin, San Pascual, Masbate. Morphological characters such as head and thorax were observed, measured, recorded, and analyzed using the SPSS and a dendrogram was constructed. Photographs of the morphological characteristics were also taken and measured using a dissecting microscope. The wading technique was used in locating the feral colonies to be examined for distribution Five (5) kinds of species were deduced and seven (7) variables had a relationship to the species. The classification and relationship of probable species were formulated through the morphometry study. A total of 69 populations of feral colonies were recorded. Forty-six (46) were found in Barangay Busing while 23 feral colonies were in Barangay Terraplin. Barangay Terraplin had a higher density of 0.38 and a relative density of 80.85., than Barangay Busing which had a density of 0.09 and a relative density of 19.15. The preferred nesting site of stingless bees was the molave tree (Vitex parviflora). Some nests were found on coconut trees (Cocos nucifera), bamboo plants (Bambusa vulgaris), a shoulder bag attached to the Madre de cacao tree (Gliricidia sepium), and avocado tree (Persea Americana) with creeping philodendron plant (Rhaphidophora decursiva). The characteristic of nest entrances differed among the species of stingless bees collected. They were also classified as a cavity or open nest. The traditional morphometric characters are an effective tool for discriminating relationships among different kinds of stingless bees. Barangay Terraplin was more suitable for the hiving of feral colonies than Barangay Busing. Nest trees and other nesting sites have been found with feral colonies. The trees were often inhabited by the stingless bees to build a nest. These trees were common to a tropic environment in Burias Island, particularly Barangays Busing and Terraplin. Analyzing the nest architecture and gene sequencing can result in accurate identification and discovery of more species. Future research must also be made about the nesting habits of stingless bees on Burias Island.
... Heterotrigona itama has the largest body size (5.34 mm) followed by T. clypearis (4.00-4.17 mm) (Suriawanto et al., 2017), and T. laeviceps (3.7-4.5 mm) (Atmowidi et al., 2018), respectively. There is a positive correlation between a bee's body size and pollen load. ...
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Insect pollination has been reported to have a better yield quality and quantity than artificial pollination. Wild bees, including stingless bees contribute to effective and efficient pollination on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.: Malvaceae). However, previously no report about okra pollination by native Indonesian stingless bees, which can be potential as pollinators. Therefore, this research aims to compare foraging activities of three species of stingless bees (Heterotrigona itama, Tetragonula laeviceps, and T. clypearis) on okra plants and fruits quality and quantity parameters among four pollination treatments (three stingless bee species and without pollinator). Four cages with 50 okra plants were used for pollination treatments. The foraging observation of different stingless bee species on okra was conducted in the cages, and the okra yield from each treatment was compared. Our results showed the foraging activities of three stingless bee species were higher in the morning than those in the afternoon. In the morning, the number of visits of T. clypearis and T. laeviceps were negatively correlated with visit duration. The current study also showed that size and weight of pod, the number of seeds, and the percentage of fruit set of okra were enhanced by pollination of three stingless bee species. Unfortunately, the pollination of stingless bee species did not affect the seed germination and flavonoid content of fruits. The native of Indonesian stingless bees are good pollinators to improve pod quality and quantity.
... Like other pollinators, T. laeviceps lives closely with the plant community. Their nest is commonly found in dead trees (Kumar et al. 2012) and inside the tree's hollow (Suriawanto et al. 2017;Absy et al. 2018). The previous study proves that the maximum foraging distance of Trigona bees was 500 m apart from their hives (Nugroho and Soesilohadi 2014;Widhiono and Sudiana 2016). ...
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Abbas M, Sukarsa. 2022. Type and size of pollen collected by Tetragonula laeviceps at various altitudes. Biodiversitas 23: 1567-1575. Pollen’s type and size are affected by altitude. No study about pollen types and sizes collected Tetragonula laeviceps at various altitudes in Banyumas District, Central Java, Indonesia. This study was aimed to analyze pollen types and sizes collected at various altitudes in Banyumas District. The pollen samples were collected using a random sampling technique at each altitude, namely 46.7 m asl, 317 m asl, and 912 m asl. The pollen samples were collected from flowers around and inside the nest, then prepared using acetolysis. The parameters include pollen morphology, pollen’s polar (P) diameter, and the pollen's equatorial (E) diameter. The morphological characteristics and pollen diameter were analyzed statistically using analysis of variance. Pollens’ type was not affected by altitudes. However, pollen’s diameter was significantly different among altitudes, with the largest pollen size was observed at the highest altitude and the smallest were observed at the lowest altitude. The data are vital for meliponid culture at various altitudes.
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This study aims to determine the bee species, nest characteristics and identify the stingless bee propolis plant source from Kulisusu District, North Buton Regency. This research uses the purposive sampling method in searching nests, and the data is processed descriptively. Samples of stingless bees were taken from four hives from three sampling locations. The characteristics of the nest observed were the shape of the nest entrance, color and size (length and diameter), and the type of entrance opening. The stingless bees found belonged to the genus Tetragonula and consist of two species, Tetragonula sapiens, and Tetragonula fuscobalteata. The shape of the nest entrance varies (without funnel, short funnel, and cylindrical funnel) with black, brown, or blackish-brown color. The diameter of the nest entrance was between 3 to 5 cm with the type of opening (triangular, irregular, and oval). Nine plants were identified as sources of propolis in each nest, and two of them, Anacardium occidentale (cashews) and Schleichera oleosa (Kesambi), were found in all observed nests.
Recently, native bee fauna has been observed utilising anthropogenic materials as nesting substrates. Here we report the novel observation of a native solitary cavity-nesting bee, Megachile (Hackeriapis) oblonga (Smith, 1879) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Megachilinae) nesting in man-made, but honey bee drawn waxed frames. This represents a unique indirect interaction between the introduced Apis mellifera and native wild bees and adds to growing evidence of how human activities are altering the behaviour of wild bees, with unknown consequences. Our observations here add to knowledge about the flexibility in nesting habits of wild bees and the potential for bees to adopt novel materials to nest in. This may represent adaptive or maladaptive behaviour; it remains to be determined whether humans are presenting wild bees with an increasing number of “ecological traps” as anthropogenic activities limit the availability of natural nesting substrates in the environment.
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In India honey bees like Apis cerana and Apis mellifera are reared for commercial purpose. The other bees like rock bee (Apis dorsata), little bee (Apis florea) and dammer bee (Trigona sp) are not domesticated because of their ecophysiology. However, the kani tribes living in Karayar area of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve area (KMTR) of Western Ghats have developed a novel method of rearing the dammer bees. The objective of the study is to understand the traditional skill of Kani tribes to rear the stingless bee (Trigona sp.) which was not used for regular bee keeping. The present study also gives importance to evolve commercial strategies to get honey (medicinal honey) from Trigona sp. The findings of the present study will help to preserve the art of rearing stingless bees and to introduce modern techniques to harvest pure, clean and uncontaminated honey by suitable modifications in the indigenous practice of stingless bee rearing. The honey produced by dammer bees is a panacea for much human illness. The Kani tribes have developed a bamboo pole bee hive to keep this stingless bee belonged to the species Trigona irredipensis. The dammer bees build an interesting type of comb made of propolis, mud and about 600-700gm honey is collected per year per hive. Because of rich medicinal value the honey collected from this beehive is sold at a rate of Rs.1000/Kg.
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Stingless bee farming is a new and potential booming industry in Malaysia. A study was conducted on stingless bee species preferred by meliponiculturists in Malaysia. External nest characteristics of the stingless bee species were also described. Sampling of 161 stingless bee colonies at a bee farm in Kelantan, Malaysia (06°07’N, 102°19’E) revealed five species of stingless bees and one unidentified species. The species included Trigona itama, Trigona thoracica, Trigona terminata, Trigona laeviceps, and Hypotrigona scintillans and one unidentified meliponid that accounted for 83.2%, 11.2%, 2.5%, 1.9%, 0.6% and 0.6%, respectively. The external nest characteristics, including the height of tree trunk, the trunk circumference at the top and bottom, and the height of the entrance tube from the bottom, were measured together with the size and description of entrance tube for each species. It was apparent that of 17-32 known species of stingless bees in Malaysia, only T. itama and T. thoracica were mostly used in meliponiculture.
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Eight named species of stingless bees are known from the Indian subcontinent: Lepidotrigona arcifera (Cockerell), Lisotrigona cacciae (Nurse), Lisotrigona mohandasi Jobiraj & Narendran, Tetragonula aff. laeviceps (Smith), Tetragonula bengalensis (Cameron), Tetragonula gressitti (Sakagami), Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith), Tetragonula praeterita (Walker), and Tetragonula ruficornis (Smith). Lectotypes are newly designated for T. bengalensis and T. ruficornis. Keys, comparative notes, and illustrations for species identification are provided. The distribution of stingless bees throughout the Indian subcontinent are summarized and concluding that they are found in most parts of the Indian subcontinent, except at higher elevation or the drier interior regions. Additional collections and studies are urgently needed to clearly define the species limits of the complex "iridipennis" species group.
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This catalog of the published literature on stingless bees from the Indo-Malayan/Australasian region was compiled from 520 references and deals with 129 proposed names for species-group taxa of which 89 are considered currently valid. Information is summarized on organisms associated with stingless bee colonies as well as the 225 plants from which the bees have been reported to forage. Lectotypes are designated for Trigona ornata described by Rayment and the following species described by Friese: Trigona anamitica, T. australis, T. borneënsis, T. flaviventris, T. keyensis, T. luteiventris, T. pygmaea, T. reepeni, T. sericea, and T. versicolor.
Trigona (Tetragonula) sirindhornae new species is described on the basis of specimens from the Isthmus of Kra. It is most similar to the Bornean T. melanocephala Gribodo but is also similar to the wider ranging T. drescheri Schwarz; it differs most conspicuously from both in the contrast between the black scutum and the testaceous scutellum.