Stingless bee Honey July 27, 2022

Australian Native Bee

Stingless Bee Honey

Stingless bees can be found in most tropical or subtropical regions of the world, such as Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, and tropical America.

stingless bees have enlarged areas on their back legs for carrying pollen back to the hive. After a foraging expedition, these pollen baskets or corbiculae can be seen stuffed full of bright orange or yellow pollen. Stingless bees also collect nectar, which they store in an extension of their gut called a crop. Back at the hive, the bees ripen or dehydrate the nectar droplets by spinning them inside their mouthparts until honey is formed. Ripening concentrates the nectar and increases the sugar content, though it is not nearly as concentrated as the honey from true honey bees; it is much thinner in consistency, and more prone to spoiling.

Types of Stingless Bee That Produces Honey

Tetragonula iridipennis- The Indian stingless bee or dammar bee, Indian Native Bee

T. iridipennis is a tropical bee species and is found throughout the Indo-Malay region. Its range was once thought to go as far as the Solomon and Caroline islands, but unlike other Tetragonula species, its range is fairly limited. Although it was originally discovered on the island of Sri Lanka, it is predominantly found in India. Specifically, studies have been conducted on T. iridipennis colonies located in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.T. iridipennis also occurs on the islands of Indonesia where it is a natural pollinator.

As with other highly eusocial bee species, T. iridipennis colonies are founded by swarming. However, this process is different for stingless bees like T. iridipennis and honey bees. In honeybees, the process is abrupt and a large group of workers leaves the original colony with the old queen, thus few connections are maintained between the old and the new colonies. The process is more gradual for stingless bees such as T. iridepennis. First scout workers from the original nest find a new nest site and gradually transport resources there from the mother colony. A virgin queen from the mother colony then arrives usually accompanied by a mass of workers. It is only after several days to half a year that relations between the mother and daughter colonies are severed.

T. iridipennis stores its honey in pots which are within a food storage zone of the nest. The food storage zone contains a honey storage pot and a pollen storage pot, but these are often intermixed. The honey of T. iridipennis is a rich source of antioxidant flavanoids. This is because workers collect honey from medicinally important herbal plants and flowers. The quantity of honey produced is a relatively small 600-700 grams per year.

While T. iridipennis gathers propolis to reinforce its nest, people have harvested it and discovered it to have a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Propolis exhibits notable antibacterial and antiviral properties. The pharmacological properties of propolis are dependent on a variety of factors including plants visited by the T. iridipennis hive and the amount of pollution present in their environmen

Stingless bees store their aromatic honey in clusters of small resin pots near the extremities of the nest. For honey production, the bees need to be kept in a box specially designed to make the honey stores accessible without damaging the rest of the nest structure. Some recent box designs for honey production provide a separate compartment for the honey stores so the honey pots can be removed without spilling honey into other areas of the nest. A hive of Australian stingless bees produces less than 1 kg (2 lbs). Stingless bee honey has a distinctive "bush" taste—a mix of sweet and sour with a hint of fruit. The taste comes from plant resins—which the bees use to build their hives and honey pots—and varies at different times of year depending on the flowers and trees visited.

Austroplebeia Stingless bee belong to Apidae family. The bee is mainly found in Australian and Papua New-Guinea. There are following five subspecies of Austroplebeia. Its often called as Australian Native Bee.

A. australis also known as Trigona Australia found mainly in Queensland and northern New South Wales. This bee collects the honey from nectar rich resource hence honey collected by Australian native bee has significantly higher sugar concentration compare to other stingless bees.

A. cassia is small stingless bee found Mainly in North and Eastern Queensland

A. cincta is a small stingless bee found aross Australia and Papua New Guinea

A. essingtoni is found in Australia (Northern areas of Western Australia and Northern Territory). They are one of the smallest stingless bees in Australia and can survive in dry regions

A. magna is found in Australia (Northern Territory and far North-West Queensland

C. capitata - bees belonging to the family Apidae .The species of this genus are found in Central and Southern America. commonly known as the mombucao in Brazilian , is a species of eusocial stingless bee in the family Apidae and tribe Meliponini .

Other Species of Stingless Bee which produces Honey

  • Frieseomelitta

Ø F. doederleini

Ø F. varia

  • Heterotrigona

Ø H. itama

  • Melipona

Ø M. asilvai

Ø M. beecheii

Ø M. bicolor

Ø M. capixaba

Ø M. compressipes

Ø M. costaricensis

Ø M. crinita

Ø M. eburnea

Ø M. fasciata

Ø M. fasciculata

Ø M. favosa

Ø M. flavolineata

Ø M. fuliginosa

Ø M. marginata

Ø M. panamica

Ø M. quadrifasciata

Ø M. rufiventris

Ø M. scutellaris

Ø M. seminigra

Ø M. subnitida

Ø M. yucatanica

  • Meliponula spp.

Ø M. bocandei

  • Paratrigona

Ø P. subnuda

  • Partamona

Ø P. seridoensis

Ø P. helleri

  • Scaptotrigona

Ø S. bipunctata

Ø S. polysticta

Ø S. postica

Ø S. tubiba

Ø S. mexicana

  • Schwarziana

Ø S. quadripunctata

  • Tetragona

Ø T. clavipes

Ø T. quadrangula

  • Tetragonisca

Ø T. angustula

  • Tetragonula

Ø T. carbonaria

Ø T. hockingsi

  • Trigona (genus)

Ø T. iridipennis (Tetragonula iridipennis)

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