The fast versus the furious – On competition, morphological foraging traits, and foraging strategies in stingless bees
Palabras ClaveBody colouration, Body size, Exploitation of food sources, Food niches, Foraging strategies, Stingless bees
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Stingless bee pot-honey is a valuable product with a long tradition of harvest and consumption in Central and South America. The differences found among meliponine honeys concerning physiochemical composition, sugar content, and floral origin depend, to some extent, on the bee species. In the present chapter we outline some basic principles underlying foraging specialization by stingless bees, mainly morphological and behavioural differences among species. Both morphological foraging traits and foraging strategies influence meliponine colony decisions to collect a particular food source while ignoring others, which in turn contributes to honey quality, considering floral origin and sugar content.