The role of stingless bees in crop pollination.

CSIRO Entomology, PMB 3 Indooroopilly 4068, Australia.
Annual Review of Entomology (Impact Factor: 13.59). 02/1999; 44:183-206. DOI:10.1146/annurev.ento.44.1.183
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are common visitors to flowering plants in the tropics, but evidence for their importance and effectiveness as crop pollinators is lacking for most plant species. They are known to visit the flowers of approximately 90 crop species. They were confirmed to be effective and important pollinators of 9 species. They may make a contribution to the pollination of approximately 60 other species, but there is insufficient information to determine their overall effectiveness or importance. They have been recorded from another 20 crops, but other evidence suggests that they do not have an important role because these plants are pollinated by other means. The strengths and limitations of stingless bees as crop pollinators are discussed. Aspects of their biology that impact on their potential for crop pollination are reviewed, including generalized flower visiting behavior of colonies, floral constancy of individual bees, flight range, and the importance of natural vegetation for maintaining local populations.

0 0
1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The stingless bee genus Scaptotrigona is widely distributed across tropical Mexico and includes economically important species used in stingless beekeeping. As Scaptotrigona colonies are currently or potentially translocated across regions, it is important to analyze the extent of genetic diversity from different populations. Herein, every analyzed Scaptotrigona individual was correctly assigned through DNA barcoding to the three recognized species (Scaptotrigona mexicana, Scaptotrigona pectoralis, and Scaptotrigona hellwegeri). Intraspecific divergence showed a mean value of 0.70 %, whereas the interspecific value was 2.79 %. As predicted by traditional taxonomy, sequence analyses demonstrated the close affinity of S. mexicana with S. hellwegeri. However, this also suggested the existence of cryptic species within S. mexicana, one of the stingless bees exploited for honey production in Mesoamerica. These results confirm the hypothesis that the DNA barcoding technique may at least differentiate stingless bee taxa accepted by current taxonomy.
    Apidologie 05/2012; · 2.16 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Outcrossing and sexual reproduction of most flowering plants depends on pollinators. Plant traits likely to be involved in pollinator attraction include flower colour, shape, and size. Furthermore plant or flower density and the temporal flowering pattern may have an effect on reproduction. In this study we examine the pollination ecology, breeding system, female reproductive output and germination of two tropical understorey species, Stenostephanus lobeliiformis (Acanthaceae) and Besleria melancholica (Gesneriaceae), which differ in these traits. Pollinator observations revealed that the dense flowering S. lobeliiformis with pinkish flowers received a higher diversity of pollinators, whereas visitor frequency to one flower per hour was much less (0.1 h-1) than that to B. melancholica, which has a smaller floral display of dull coloured flowers (1.5 h-1). Pollination experiments revealed that S. lobeliiformis but not B. melancholica is pollen limited. In addition, both species are partially self-incompatible and depend on pollinators for outcrossing. Natural fruit set of open-pollinated unmanipulated flowers (control treatment) in both species is 22 - 26 %. Germination studies indicated inbreeding depression in S. lobeliiformis. We conclude that the pollination ecology of these species is influenced by a broad set of traits and that very different combinations of these traits can be successful in terms of reproduction.
    Ecological Research 01/2013; · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2013; 13(1):151. · 2.08 Impact Factor


Available from

T A Heard