The males of Melipona and other stingless bees, and their mothersReportar como inadecuado

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Abstract : Female behaviour in social Hymenoptera and the queen-worker conflict with respect to male production have been the focus of many studies. Although male production is an investment that is in conflict with investment in colony size, males play a vital role in colony reproduction. This paper reviews the production patterns of male stingless bees, their activities once they have reached adulthood and their origin i.e., are they sons of workers or of queens. The existence of a broad spectrum of species-specific patterns of male production, sex ratios, and male parentage offers ample opportunities to discuss the influence of ecology on the dynamics of stingless bee colony life. The paper also argues that selfishness causes the queen and the workers to compete and each to adopt certain strategies in their effort to produce male progeny. It is this competition, expressed in various forms during the characteristic and socially complex process of cell provisioning and oviposition, that could help explain the variable outcomes of male parentage at the species level as we currently know them.

Keywords : stingless bee male sex ratio life history male aggregation queen-worker conflict provisioning and oviposition process

Autor: Hayo H.W. Velthuis Dirk Koedam Vera L. Imperatriz-Fonseca



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