Article

The role of stingless bees in crop pollination. Annu Rev Entomol

CSIRO Entomology, PMB 3 Indooroopilly 4068, Australia.
Annual Review of Entomology (Impact Factor: 13.73). 02/1999; 44(1):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.

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    • "Bees are a diverse ([20,000 species) group of Hymenopteran insects (Danforth et al. 2006). As a consequence of the large number of workers in each colony, eusocial bees are efficient foragers and thereby provide an important ecosystem service through the pollination of native and agriculturally significant plants (Heard 1999; Klein et al. 2007; Aizen et al. 2008; Gallai et al. 2009; Ricou et al. 2014). Some bees of the Apidae group, [honeybees (Apis spp.), bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and stingless bees (Meliponini )] are kept for their pollination services (Slaa et al. 2006; Aizen et al. 2008; Breeze et al. 2011) and for honey production (vanEngelsdorp and Meixner 2010; Halcroft et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive species often play a significant role in ecosystem decline and the loss of biodiversity. Nonetheless, a number of social bee species (Apidae) have been, and are still being, transported outside their native ranges for use as pollinators and honey producers. Many authors have emphasized the ecological consequences of introduced social bees. Less appreciated is that hybridization between local and introduced bees can lead to genomic extinction of indigenous bee taxa and to a loss in overall biodiversity. More directly, mating interference between introduced and native bees may result in reduced reproductive success of the indigenous taxa. It is therefore important that the benefits of introducing exotic bee species be carefully weighed against the possible costs to indigenous populations. © 2015 International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI)
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    • "Today, stingless bees remain an incredible pollination resource for both wild and cultivated crops. They are generalist flower visitors , key pollinators of nine crops, and partial pollinators of at least 20 others (Danaraddi, Hakkalappanavar, Birandar, Tattimani, & Vinod, 2007; Heard, 1999; Karikari & Kwapong, 2007). In addition , stingless beehive products—honey, bee pollen, and propolis—are medicinal and are known for their antibacterial and "

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
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    • "Today, stingless bees remain an incredible pollination resource for both wild and cultivated crops. They are generalist flower visitors , key pollinators of nine crops, and partial pollinators of at least 20 others (Danaraddi, Hakkalappanavar, Birandar, Tattimani, & Vinod, 2007; Heard, 1999; Karikari & Kwapong, 2007). In addition , stingless beehive products—honey, bee pollen, and propolis—are medicinal and are known for their antibacterial and "
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    ABSTRACT: In Africa, stingless bees are greatly understudied resources that possess incredible ecological and economic potential. Stingless bees are capable pollinators of tropical plant species and also yield medicinal products. This study aims to increase motivation for their conservation by exploring the early colony development of an Afrotropical stingless bee, Hypotrigona sp., when moved to a new habitat. Due to deforestation and a general lack of knowledge regarding Sub-Saharan pollinators and their needs, the preferred habitat of stingless bees is becoming increasingly rare, consequently forcing populations to relocate. Quality of their environment has an immense impact on stingless bee biodiversity and behavior, and it is important knowledge to acquire in order to further conservation efforts and sustainable commercial management. Four colonies of Hypotrigona sp. were transferred from their original tropical rainforest habitat to a coastal savannah climate in Cape Coast, Ghana. Their activity, colony development, and resource production were monitored over the course of four weeks. Regarding forage activity and division of labor, Hypotrigona sp. was found to develop similarly among the four replicates. Queen activity greatly influenced the development of the colonies and environmental factors, such as temperature and relative humidity, were found to be significant parameters for colony development. Acquiring this fundamental
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