Tetragonula carbonaria

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Tetragonula carbonaria
Sugarbag bee.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Superfamily: Apoidea
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Meliponini
Genus: Tetragonula
Species: T. carbonaria
Binomial name
Tetragonula carbonaria
Smith, 1854

Trigona angophorae Cockerell, T.D.A. 1912

Tetragonula carbonaria (previously known as Trigona carbonaria) is a stingless bee endemic to Australia.[2] Their common name is Sugarbag bee.[1] The bee is known to pollinate the orchids Dendrobium lichenastrum, D. toressae, and D. speciosum.[3] It has been identified as an insect that collects pollen from the cycad, Cycas media.[4]

T. carbonaria forms honeycombs in their nests.[5] The bee produces a consumable honey where the whole nest is sometimes eaten by Indigenous Australians.[6] The bees "mummify" invasive small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) that enter the nest by coating and immobilizing the invader in wax, resin and mud or dirt from the nest.[7]

When the bees do go to war with other hives, they use their teeth to fight their opponents to the death with. [8][9]


  1. ^ a b Dollin, A.; Walker, K. & Heard, T. "Trigona carbonari Sugarbag bee". PaDIL. 
  2. ^ Green, Catherine L.; Pierre Franck; Benjamin P. Oldroyd (2001). "Characterization of microsatellite loci for Trigona carbonaria, a stingless bee endemic to Australia". Molecular Ecology Notes (2001) 1 , 89Ð92 (1): 89–92. 
  3. ^ Nelis A. van der Cingel (2001). An Atlas of Orchid Pollination: Orchids of America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Lisse, Netherlands [etc.]: Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers. ISBN 90-5410-486-4. 
  4. ^ Robert, Ornduff (1991). "Size Classes, Reproductive Behavior, and Insect Associates of Cycas media (Cycadaceae) in Australia". Botanical Gazette 152 (2): 203–207. doi:10.1086/337880. 
  5. ^ Michener, Charles (2000). The Bees of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6133-0. 
  6. ^ Crane, Eva E. (1999). The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92467-7. 
  7. ^ "Australian bees 'mummify' their beetle enemy alive". BBC News. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  8. ^ https://www.sciencenews.org/article/when-sweet-little-bees-go-war?tgt=nr
  9. ^ http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/678399?uid=3739688&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104574841981

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