Orchid bees as bio-indicators for organic coffee farms in Costa Rica: does farm size affect their abundance?

Rev Biol Trop. 2006 Sep;54(3):965-9. doi: 10.15517/rbt.v54i3.14075.


The potential of Euglossini bees, especially Euglossa, as biological indicators of organic vs nonorganic coffee farms was studied in Atenas and San Isidro, Alajuela, Costa Rica using 1.8-cineole as lure. Observations were made for three days at each of four farms and complemented with data from a year of observations. Orchid bees were in greater abundance in the organic farms (t-Student test). However, lower abundances suggest that an organic farm may be negatively affected by the proximity of non-organic farms, depending on its size and distance. Orchid bees may be indicators of organic coffee farms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees / physiology*
  • Coffee / physiology*
  • Costa Rica
  • Crops, Agricultural*
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Seasons


  • Coffee