Differences in quantity of food in worker and male brood cells of Scaptotrigona postica (Latr. 1807) (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

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Beig, D.
Correa Bueno, O.
Alves da Cunha, R.
Jorge de Moraes, H.

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Workers and males of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona postica emerge from morphologically similar cells. Normally only one bee is reared in each brood cell, but we found that some of the cells, interspersed throughout the brood comb, contained more than one egg. Because these additional eggs produced adult males, they were probably laid by nurse bees (workers) after the queen had oviposited in the cells concerned. Although there is no morphological difference between male and worker cells a significant difference was found in the amount of food inside them. The cell where the male is reared shows less food than the worker cell, difference that is statistically significant at 1% level. This fact suggests that: the worker might recognise the cell before oviposition and that this recognition is based on the difference of food quantity. © 1982 Masson.



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Insectes Sociaux, v. 29, n. 2, p. 189-194, 1982.