Nesting and foraging behaviour of the solitary bee Epanthidium tigrinum (Schrottky, 1905) bred in trap nests

Vitória Vitória Inna Mary de Sousa Muniz, Larysson Feitosa Santos, Pedro De Assis de Oliveira, David Rezende da Silveira, Breno Magalhães Freitas


The bee Epanthidium tigrinum is native to Brazil and shows potential for use in pollinating agricultural crops. However, the little information available concerning its reproductive and feeding habits has prevented any rational breeding or management of these bees. The aim of this study was to investigate their acceptance of trap nests, and their nesting and foraging behaviour, with a view to understanding the potential of the species for rational breeding. Trap nests were offered, and the females were observed for 16 months to monitor the establishment, building and closing of nests, as well as their architecture and the behaviour of the bees when searching for the resources used to build and provision the nests. The results showed that E. tigrinum performs well in trap nests; prefers cavities with a diameter of around 0.45 cm; depends on other plant resources besides pollen and nectar, such as leaves, fibres and resins, to build its nest; and remains active throughout the year. The study concluded that the species has the potential for use in agricultural pollination programs; however the observed nesting requirements must be taken into account, both in conservation efforts and in zootechnical exploitation when breeding the bee for agricultural pollination, as both can influence the number of constructed nests and cells, and consequently, the size of the pollinator population.


Beekeeping. Nest-building. Floral resources. Non-floral resources. Seasonality.

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