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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 13 
Have native Hymenoptera or Africanized bees become aggressive foragers due to resource competition?
David W. Roubik, Rogel Villanueva-Gutiérrez
Pages: 95 - 102
Number of pages: 8
Trends in Entomology
Volume 13 

Copyright © 2017 Research Trends. All rights reserved

We observed and ranked foraging behavior among competing hymenopterans. Africanized honeybees, observed in Yucatan, Mexico attacking Trigona fulviventris (Meliponini) on flowers in 2005, were again studied there in 2015 and 2016. We used honey-water (of Apis or Melipona) and standardized baiting to observe bee and wasp foraging. Of the recorded 7578 aggressive interactions, nearly 2/3 were intraspecific. Africanized Apis mellifera rarely displayed even mild aggressive behavior toward Meliponini, including T. fulviventris. Similarly, previous work documented no agonism by Cephalotrigona, but it attacked Melipona beecheii and Apis in our study. Individual, flexible behavior is thereby implicated in foraging behavior. The common T. fulviventris was persistently aggressive against Apis, while Melipona, the largest native bee and of Apis size, showed no aggression toward other insects; it seldom foraged honey water presented as bait. Among the 1047 interactions between Apis and 10 native species, 44 included aggression by Apis, often against large polistine wasps. Apis, Cephalotrigona and Trigona were intensively intraspecifically aggressive, Trigona, Cephalotrigona, Frieseomelitta, Nannotrigona, Plebeia and Epiponini often attacked other species, and Apis was the most widely attacked species and frequently displayed evasive behavior, which may suggest evolution has yet to mold interactions between invasive Old World Apis and native Neotropical insects. 
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