Free access
Volume 37, Number 2, March-April 2006
Stingless bees: biology and management
Page(s) 275 - 292
Published online 22 June 2006
Apidologie 37 (2006) 275-292
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006027

Global meliponiculture: challenges and opportunities

Marilda Cortopassi-Laurinoa, Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonsecab, David Ward Roubikc, Anne Dollind, Tim Hearde, Ingrid Aguilarf, Giorgio C. Venturierig, Connal Eardleyh and Paulo Nogueira-Netoa

a  Ecology Dept., Biosciences Institute, S. Paulo University, Brazil
b  Biology Dept., F.F.C.L. Ribeirão Preto, S. Paulo University, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
c  Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Republic of Panama
d  Australian Native Bee Research Centre, PO Box 74, North Richmond New South Wales 2754, Australia
e  CSIRO Entomology, 120 Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly Queensland 4068, Australia
f  CINAT Centro de Investigaciones Apícolas Tropicales, Universidad Nacional, 475-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica
g  EMBRAPA Amazônia Oriental, PO Box 48, Belém-PA, CEP 66.017-970, Brazil
h  ARC Plant Protection Research Institute, Private BagX134, Queenswood, 0121, South Africa

(Received 19 January 2006 - Accepted 15 February 2006 - published online 22 June 2006)

Abstract - Stingless bees are social bees that live in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. All species produce honey, which has been appreciated by humans since ancient times. Here, the general panorama of meliponiculture is presented. Deforestation and poor management are the main problems faced by this incipient industry. For a profitable meliponiculture, much more biological information is needed, as well as field studies in natural conditions. In the near future, we suggest that the successful use of these pollinators will promote the development of new breeding techniques and commercialization possibilities, which must be designed to be sustainable.

Key words: meliponiculture / stingless bees / breeding / honey / wax / pollinators / Apidae / Meliponini

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2006