, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 807–816 | Cite as

Nest initiation by multiple females in an aerial-nesting orchid bee, Euglossa cybelia (Apidae: Euglossini)

  • Diego Solano-Brenes
  • Mauricio Fernández OtárolaEmail author
  • Paul E. Hanson
Original article


Among orchid bees that have been observed, nest initiation by multiple females is rare, and has never been reported from an aerial-nesting species. Here, we document nest initiation by multiple females in the aerial-nesting Euglossa cybelia. Observations were carried out on five nests, which were found on the undersides of understory palm leaves in Costa Rica. Female bees collaborated in constructing the envelope, but when this was finished each bee built and provisioned its own cells. This species therefore shows communal behavior. In one of the nests, individual foraging trips and interactions between female bees were quantified. Although, there were no overall differences between individuals with respect to initiating or receiving aggression, this changed over time.


aggressive interactions communal behavior nest construction reproductive behavior 



We thank William Eberhard, Daniel Arauz, and José Zelaya for the help in locating nests; William Eberhard and Mary Jane West-Eberhard for guidance in the collection of data and discussion of results; Gilbert Barrantes for his help with the data analysis; and four anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions for improving the manuscript. This work is the result of the Field Biology Course organized by the School of Biology of the University of Costa Rica.

Authors’ contributions

DSB and MFO conceived this study; DSB collected and analyzed the data; DSB, PH, and MFO wrote the paper and participated in the revision of it. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13592_2018_605_MOESM1_ESM.doc (143 kb)
ESM 1. (DOC 143 kb)


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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escuela de BiologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

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