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BCI trip # 2

March 15, 2011

I’ve been back in Panama for a week now, getting an experiment set up. I’m here until April 15th. I haven’t yet had much time for taking pictures etc., but I did happen across an aggregation of bees collecting mud. The trails are well maintained here, at least on the more well used trails, and new gravel had been put down near a stream. Stingless bees were collecting mud from this gravel, which you can see packed into their corbiculae in the picture below. Corbiculae are the pollen collecting structures on the hind legs of stingless bees and their relatives, like the honey bee. They use this mud in construction of their nests, not to build the entire nest, but to fill gaps, make a nest entrance etc. In this picture you can see three stingless bee species. It is easy to find neat stuff here, even when you are focused on other tasks.

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