In tropical primary forest and its buffer zones in North Vietnam, nests of three stingless bee species were studied: Lisotrigona carpenteri Engel, Trigona (Tetragonula) laeviceps Smith and Trigona (Lepidotrigona) ventralis Smith. We record nest architecture, adult population, the number of brood cells, the presence of adult reproductives, the proportion of males in the brood, the number of queen cells and storage pots, and other features, on the basis of 35 field collected nests. Lisotrigona carpenteri and T. laeviceps arrange brood cells in clusters, T. ventralis, in horizontal combs surrounded by an involucrum of multiple lamellae. Lisotrigona carpenteri constructs its small nests (up to 400 adult bees) mainly in crevices in man-made structures while colonies of T. laeviceps (up to 1200 adults) and T. ventralis (up to 10,000 adults) are generally in cavities in living trees. The flexibility for using nest substrates other than living trees appears in these species related to colony size.
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Vol. 78 • No. 4