, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 760–762 | Cite as

Pollen-collecting by stingless bees on cacao flowers

  • A. M. Young
Short Communications Ethology, Ecology, Natural Product Chemistry


Stingless bees (Trigona jaty) routinely visit the flowers ofTheobroma cacao (Sterculiaceae) in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. The bees collect pollen and behave as pollen thieves in flowers well exposed to direct sunlight in cacao plantations, and avoid flowers in heavy shade. Pollination rates are maximized, however, in heavy shade due to the high abundance of the small-bodied pollinating midges (Ceratopogonidae and Cecidomyiidae) found in such places. Pollen-thieving by stingless bees, therefore, may only impact on fruit set in cacao trees in direct sunlight, with only minimal to no impact in areas of cacao where natural pollinator activity is high.

Key words

Trigona jaty pollination cacao sunlight shade 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Intertebrate Zoology SectionMilwaukee Public MuseumMilwaukeeUSA

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