• 1
    An African meliponid bee (Trigona (Hypotrigona) gribodoi Magretti) has been kept in observation nests near Accra, Gold Coast.
  • 2
    The nests had up to 750 bees, honey and pollen store cells of 8 mm. height and 6 mm. diameter and brood cells of 31/2 mm. height and 21/2 mm. diameter arranged in clusters.
  • 3
    The nests had a trumpet-shaped tubular entrance and another tube running in to the nest. The nesting cavity is sealed where necessary by a thick propolis screen and the nest area may be cut off from the rest of the cavity by a wax sheet.
  • 4
    The queen is physogastric. Drones take thirty-two days from egg laying to emergence, are reared in cells identical with those of the worker caste and perform no work. Workers take thirty-five days to develop and after emergence pass through five recognizable stages of increasing pigmentation.
  • 5
    In the absence of a queen, workers lay eggs but only drones are reared.
  • 6
    The five stages of the worker caste perform work on a rotation system comparable with that of the honey bee. Stage 1 performs no work: stage 2 rears the brood and feeds all castes; stage 3 ripens nectar and cleans the nest: stage 4 ventilates the nest and carries debris out; stage 5 guards the entrance and forages for nectar, pollen and propolis.
  • 7
    A detailed description is given of activities in the nest.
  • 8
    Foraging takes place mainly in the morning.
  • 9
    There is a heavy brood mortality.