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Volume 39, Number 1, January-February 2008
Insights into Bee Evolution: A Tribute to Charles D. Michener
Page(s) 16 - 29
Published online 23 January 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 16-29
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007049

Colletidae nesting biology (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)

Eduardo A.B. Almeida1, 2

1  Comstock Hall, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
2  Current address: Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Cx. Postal 19020, CEP: 81531-980, Curitiba, PR Brazil

(Received 28 July 2007 - Revised 6 October 2007 - Accepted 10 October 2007 - Published online 23 January 2008)

Abstract - Colletidae are unique among bees for certain aspects of their nesting biology. In this review, attributes of colletid nesting are evaluated and discussed in light of a novel phylogenetic hypothesis for the family. Some predictions made about evolution of certain traits, such as the cocoon-spinning behavior of Diphaglossinae, are confronted with phylogenetic evidence. The cellophane-like cell lining of Colletidae is a synapomorphy of this bee family, formed by polyester and characterized for being thick and strong, waterproof, and insoluble in different solvents. Historical developments towards the understanding of nature of the cell lining applied by colletids are summarized along with an account of diversity of some aspects of nesting of these bees.

Key words: bee / nest / Colletidae / Stenotritidae / Dufour's gland

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008