What are stingless bees, and why and how to use them as crop pollinators? a review
The efficiency of insects as crop pollinators depends on their biological characteristics in relation to the crop and the environment in which they are needed. For glasshouse pollination in Japan, stingless bees are potentially promising pollinators for the following reasons: they are harmless to beekeepers and glasshouse workers, they visit a wide range of crops (polylecty), they are tolerant of high temperatures, they are active throughout the year, they can be transported easily, and they do not pose an environmental risk by escaping and invading natural habitats as they would not survive the Japanese winter. There are still, however, some limitations to using stingless bees in such areas, one of which lies in how to improve methods for propagating and maintaining the colonies throughout the year. To address this problem we suggest the development of a new type of hive box.