International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 5 2013- March 2013    Pages: 1796-1805  <<Previous    Next>>

Tasks partitioning among workers of Meliponula (Meliplebeia) Becarrii (Meliponini) in Cameroon

Author Information:

Njoya Moses Tita Mogho1, Dieter Wittmann2

1-Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Bamenda, P. O. Box 39, Cameroon

2-Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), Department: Ecology of cultural landscape - Animal Ecology, University of Bonn, Melbweg 42, D-53127 Bonn, Germany

ABSTRACT

Some tasks performed by workers of Meliponula (Meliplebeia) becarrii were investigated in Cameroon to determine the life span and ascertain its temporal task sequence in comparison with that of other bees. M. becarrii are monogynous subterranean stingless bees with an average life span of 52.7 days. Results from individually marked bees indicated that workers perform tasks according to age group. However, some activities investigated, exhibited overlapping in the following sequence: Cerumen works, cell construction and cleaning of the nest.  This aspect is more or less similar to that of other stingless bees already studied. Tasks related to nest reconstruction were performed by very young workers and could last till when they are four weeks old. While tasks related to foraging were mostly done by workers at the later part of their life span. More than 50% of Meliponula becarri survived the first 50 days of their life span with considerably lower mortality rate.  

Keywords: Stingless bees / Meliponula (Meliplebeia) becarrii / Longevity / Division of labour / Cameroon

DOI:10.6088/ijes.2013030500047

© 2013 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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