DISCOVERY OF SUCCESSFUL ABSCONDING IN THE STINGLESS BEE TRIGONA (TETRAGONULA) LAEVICEPS
T INOUE, S F SAKAGAMI, S SALMAH AND N NUKMAL
The first authentic record of the occurrence of absconding in stingless bees is described for Ttigolla (Tetragollula) laeviceps in Sumatra. In the reproductive swarm of stingless bees, a virgin queen goes to a new nest. An ovipositing queen has so far been considered to be unable to fly. However, the characteristics of the queen and workers in a swarm indicated that it was an absconding swarm. On the basis of her worn wings and dark pigmentation, this queen was estimated to be more than 6 months old. Her metasoma, with developed ovaries, was intermediate in size between that of actively laying and of pre-laying queens. The number of workers in the swarm was 82, and only 4% of them were younger than 20 days. Compared with the reproductive swarm of the same species, the number of workers was much smaller and their ages much greater.