n African Entomology - Honeydew collecting in Malagasy stingless bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae : Meliponini) and observations on competition with invasive ants

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



We present the first record of honeydew feeding in Malagasy stingless bees. Two species of stingless bees, and , collected honeydew produced by mealybugs on an (Fabaceae) tree in the dry deciduous forest of Kirindy, Madagascar. Honeydew might represent an important part of the diet of Malagasy stingless bees, especially in times of scarce floral resources in the highly seasonal environment of western Madagascar. The interaction between the bees and two species of invasive ants, and , in competition for the honeydew resource, was studied. Numbers of stingless bees and ants on the honeydew source were negatively correlated, with ants decreasing in density distally from the main trunk of the tree and bees showing the opposite trend. Invasive ants could therefore potentially threaten the native bees by displacing them from this resource.

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