The goal of this study was to assess territoriality and foraging home ranges for stingless bee species; and to develop methods for censusing stingless bee colonies. Colonies of two meliponine bee species, Trigona corvina Cockerell and Trigona amalthea Vachal, were censused using carrion and honey baits. Trigona corvina and Trigona amalthea are dispersed in a Costa Rican tropical wet forest (La Selva) so that foraging ranges of the colonies are non-overlapping. The nest density was c. 0.25 ha−1 for T. amalthea and 1.0 ha−1 for T. corvina. T. corvina visited carrion baits exclusively, while T. amalthea visited both carrion and honey baits. The identities of T. amalthea colonies were confirmed using a nestmate recognition assay. Partamona peckolti Friese, Plebeia frontalis Friese, and T. fulviventris Guerin also appeared at the baits. The reliability of baiting to determine colony abundance and distribution is assessed.
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