Resin Use by Stingless Bees: A Review

  title={Resin Use by Stingless Bees: A Review},
  author={Maggie Shanahan and Marla Spivak},
Simple Summary Bees, ants, and other insects harvest antimicrobial resins from plants and use this material for a variety of purposes, from nest construction to defense against predators and pathogens. Resin use is thought to have facilitated the evolution of sociality in stingless bees, and today, resin use remains fundamentally important for stingless bee colony function. Most species use resin to build brood comb, storage pots for honey and pollen, and various protective structures within… 
5 Citations

Figures from this paper

Functional resin use in solitary bees
The importance of resin in bee ecology, particularly for solitary bees, has received very little attention thus far, and this work aims to change that.
Pollinators in tropical ecosystems of Southern India with emphasis on the native pollinators Apis cerana indica and Tetragonula iridipennis
Ecosystems are rapidly urbanizing at the global and regional scales, particularly in the tropics, which has deleterious effect on hymenopteran pollinators. Based on the literature spanning multiple


A Sticky Affair: Resin Collection by Bornean Stingless Bees
The increase in resin collection triggered by ant attacks was even stronger than the increase following a manual destruction of the nest entrance tube, and the proportion of workers retuning with resin varied considerably between colonies.
The cuticular profiles of Australian stingless bees are shaped by resin of the eucalypt tree Corymbia torelliana
This work investigated how the interaction between C. torelliana and resin-collecting bees affects the chemical ecology of two Australian stingless bee genera by comparing the chemical profiles of eight bee species with resin from C.torelliana fruits.
Handling sticky resin by stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae)
All parts of stingless bee workers contacting these sticky resins are identified, of special interest are those body parts with anti-adhesive properties to resin, where it can be removed without residues.
Ant repellent resins of honeybees and stingless bees
The sticky bands of dwarf honeybees and propolis of A. mellifera were significantly more repellent against O. smaragdina than were the entrance tube resins of the stingless bees.
Tree Resin Composition, Collection Behavior and Selective Filters Shape Chemical Profiles of Tropical Bees (Apidae: Meliponini)
The tight relationship between bees and tree resins of a large variety of species elucidates why the bees' surfaces contain a much higher chemodiversity than other hymenopterans.
Habitats shape the cuticular chemical profiles of stingless bees
It is found that the surrounding tree species community and thus available resin chemistry affected the composition of particularly resin-derived compounds on the bees’ cuticle, which indicates that stingless bees appear to selectively incorporate specific compounds available in the surrounding environment in their cuticular chemical profiles, which may increase their defensive properties.
Propolis and bee health: the natural history and significance of resin use by honey bees
This review serves to provide a compilation of recent research concerning the behavior of bees in relation to resins and propolis, focusing more on the bees themselves and the potential evolutionary benefits of resin collection.
Chemical Profiles of Body Surfaces and Nests from Six Bornean Stingless Bee Species
Analysis of the chemical profiles of six paleotropical stingless bee species from Borneo revealed the presence of species-specific cuticular terpenes— an environmentally derived compound class so far unique among social insects.
Scattered observations on the pollination of resin-producing flowers are brought together to discuss the resin-reward syndrome in light of chemical, physical, energetic, and ecological considerations.
Increased Resin Collection after Parasite Challenge: A Case of Self-Medication in Honey Bees?
Evidence is presented that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection, and colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite.