, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 96-97

The biology of Brevineura froggatti and phylogenetic conservatism in Australian allodapine bees (Apidae, Allodapini)

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We present the first data on the social biology of the allodapine bee, Brevineura froggatti. Colony sizes are small, and only 12.5% of nests contained more than two females. Brood rearing occurs throughout the year, including winter, as it does in the other species of Brevineura studied to date. In both Brevineura species, per capita brood production is much higher in multi-female nests than single female nests, raising the question of why more colonies aren't multifemale. The occurrence of small colony sizes, despite large benefits to group living, differs strongly from species of the sister clade Exoneura. These findings, combined with previous allodapine studies, indicate conservatism in voltinism, brood phenology and colony size within, but not between, Australian allodapine genera.