Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees (Cambridge Tropical Biology Series)

Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees (Cambridge Tropical Biology Series)

David W. Roubik

Language: English

Pages: 526

ISBN: 0521429099

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Describes the prominent themes in the ecology, natural history, and evolution of bees, and includes discussions on pollinating behavior, natural enemies, reproduction, social behavior, and maintenance of the diversity of tropical communities. This book is the first to draw together these themes, and covers topics as varied as the evolution of obligate sociality and the reproductive diversity of tropical flowering plants. There are many new examples from the author's research on pollination ecology, mimicry, mutualism, coevolution, and competition.

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It is known to occur in at least one temperate halictid bee (Eickwort 1986, p. 747). Both female xylocopines and euglossines can coexist for some period in the same nest with their mother, and she may feed them. Whether or not she continues reproductive activity and they contribute to colony maintenance and thus are temporary workers are slight differences that nonetheless affect the way in which their sociality is understood. Some of the most informative types of interactions between

than their tips in the long-tongued bees. A cautionary note applies to field comparisons of bee feeding ability. The func- 70 Ecology and natural history of tropical bees tional length of the proboscis, or "tongue length," has been used to determine the effective reach and imbibing efficiency of bees collecting nectar from flowers. Efficiency implies cost/benefit ratio (Section 2.3.1), but it is often equated with the extent to which bee feeding structures correspond to the physical

foraging behavior resembling that of males because each only gathers nectar from flowers and needs not have pollen sources. Females of parasitic species seem often to use the same nectar sources as their reproductive hosts and presumably remain close to their nesting areas. Bees of both sexes have been found to repeatedly cluster in a resting aggregation on a particular plant (Linsley 1962b). Dense resting aggregations of parasitic bees with their hosts have been recorded, such as Anthophora and

floral corollas that generally attract bees and direct them to nectar (Jones and Buchmann 1974; Faegri and van der Pijl 1979). Other attractive floral colors for bees are those that humans perceive as white, yellow, and blue-violet or purple. It has recently been suggested, with experimental support, that increased attractiveness of flowers serves as a means to enhance pollen dispersal and male fitness. And in some cases it also favors increased female reproductive success, even when maternal

Manning 1976; summaries by Culliney 1983; Ruttner 1988). As late as 1983 (Ruttner and Maul), the existence of more than three truly reproductively isolated species of Apis was still in some doubt because two very similar species, A. cerana and A. mellifera, did not exist in sympatry (Ruttner 1988). Reproductive isolation among the sympatric species of Apis is often preserved by staggered timing of mating activity and marked differences in the structure of the male endothallus because sex

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