Stingless bees tend to treehoppers for honeydew

Published August 27, 2018 1,600 Views

Rumble / Wild WildlifeThese stingless bees are tending two treehoppers in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Treehoppers feed upon sugar containing sap of the plant. Excess sap is excreted as honeydew which is more commonly collected by ants.

The ants, or in this case bees, feed upon the sugar and, in return, protect the treehoppers from predators. This is an example of mutualism, a form of symbiosis where both species benefit.

The treehopper mother on the right hand side is guarding her froth-covered egg mass and receives special attention from the bees. At 1:30 of the video the bees even ventilate mother and eggs with their wings, presumably to avoid that they overheat in the sun. Amazing!