Revista Brasileira de Entomologia Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
Rev Bras Entomol 2018;62:1-4 - Vol. 62 Núm.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbe.2017.11.003
Short Communication
A new technique in the excavation of ground-nest bee burrows (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)
Diego Marinhoa,, , Juliana Andradea, Rodrigo O. Araujob, Felipe Vivalloa
a Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Museu Nacional, Departamento de Entomologia, Quinta da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
b Universidad Católica del Maule, Faculdad de Ciencias Básicas, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas y Químicas, Talca, Chile
Recebido 17 Outubro 2017, Aceitaram 13 Novembro 2017

Bees have a diversified natural history, thus the methods applied to study such diversity are varied. When it comes to studies of nesting biology, bees which nest in pre-existing cavities have been reasonably well studied since researchers started using trap-nests. However, bees whose nests are built underground are poorly studied due to the difficulty of finding natural nesting areas and the absence of a method that facilitates bee nest excavation. The latter is evidenced by the lack of accurate descriptions in literature of how nests are excavated. In this study we tested cylindrical rubber refills of eraser pen as a new material to be used as a tracer of underground nest galleries in a natural nesting area of two species of Epicharis Klug, 1807 (Apidae). We compared this technique directly with plaster in powder form mixed with water and our results with other methodological studies describing alternative methods and materials. The rubber refill technique overcame the main issues presented by materials such as plaster, molten metal alloys and bioplastic, namely: death of the organisms by high temperatures and/or formation of plugs and materials unduly following the roots inside the galleries.

Apidae, Apoidea, Brood cells, Methodology, Solitary bees
Rev Bras Entomol 2018;62:1-4 - Vol. 62 Núm.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbe.2017.11.003