Vol. 47 No. 4, 2008
Thermal Characteristics of Nests of the Taiwanese Stingless Bee Trigona ventralis hoozana (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
I-Hsin Sung1,2,*, Sôichi Yamane2, and Satoshi Hozumi3
of Crop Environment, Tainan District Agricultural Research and
Extension Station, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Tainan 712,
2Biological Laboratory, Faculty of Education, Ibaraki University, Mito 310-8512, Japan. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Venture Business Laboratory, Graduate School of Science and
Engineering, Ibaraki University, Hitachi, Ibaraki 316-8511,
I-Hsin Sung, Sôichi Yamane, and Satoshi Hozumi (2008) Temperatures in 3 natural nests of the Taiwanese stingless bee Trigona (Lepidotrigona) ventralis hoozana
were measured in Dapu and Tsaoshan, Chiayi County, Taiwan from Dec.
2002 to Mar. 2004. The temperature in the brood rearing zone of 2
nests was kept relatively constant in a range of 29-32°C. Even in
the morning in Jan., the temperature in the brood area was maintained
at 29.5°C, about 21°C higher than the ambient temperature.
Healthy nests could tolerate ambient temperatures even lower than 8°C,
judging from the elevational distribution limit of this species and
corresponding meteorological records. The maintenance of constant
temperatures in the brood area is chiefly due to ameliorated thermal
conditions in the nesting cavity. This is realized by the
thermostatic effect of the thick wood of the living tree enclosing the
cavity. The involucrum, which completely encloses the brood
combs, may retain thermal energy generated by the adults and partially
by the mass of brood in the brood area.
Key words: Stingless bee, Trigona ventralis hoozana, Nest architecture, Nest temperature.
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