A legacy of stingless bees

  • Patricia Vit
  • Silvia R. M. Pedro
  • David Roubik

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxviii
  2. Origin, Biodiversity and Behavior of the Stingless Bees (Meliponini)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Charles D. Michener
      Pages 3-17
    3. Megan Halcroft, Robert Spooner-Hart, Lig Anne Dollin
      Pages 35-72
    4. Silvia R. M. Pedro, João Maria Franco de Camargo
      Pages 73-86
    5. Alain Pauly, Silvia R. M. Pedro, Claus Rasmussen, David W. Roubik
      Pages 87-97
    6. Carmen Lucía Yurrita Obiols, Mabel Vásquez
      Pages 99-111
    7. Ingrid Aguilar, Eduardo Herrera, Gabriel Zamora
      Pages 113-124
    8. Arturo Roig-Alsina, Favio Gerardo Vossler, Gerardo Pablo Gennari
      Pages 125-134
    9. Ricardo Ayala, Victor H. Gonzalez, Michael S. Engel
      Pages 135-152
    10. Cristiano Menezes, Ayrton Vollet-Neto, Felipe Andrés Felipe León Contrera, Giorgio Cristino Venturieri, Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonseca
      Pages 153-171
    11. Paula B. Morais, Paula S. São Thiago Calaça, Carlos Augusto Rosa
      Pages 173-186
    12. Michael Hrncir, Camila Maia-Silva
      Pages 201-215
  3. Stingless Bees in Culture, Traditions and Environment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Richard Jones
      Pages 219-227
    3. Genoveva R. Ocampo Rosales
      Pages 229-240
    4. Raquel Barceló Quintal, David W. Roubik
      Pages 247-259

About this book


The meliponines, stingless honey-making bees, encircle the tropical world and penetrate every forest there. This book brings together and synthesizes, on a global scale and for the first time, information on these bees as honey producers and natural alchemists. Their ability to store their food in flexible cerumen ‘pots’ made from wax and resin enables them to produce honey for which the world has no other source. These little known and often rare denizens of remote reaches of the globe have found a way to produce honey and survive in the permanently wet and unforgiving rain forests, since before the continents of Africa and South America split apart 100 million years ago. In Australia, we find them equipped to survive in cold deserts, and in the Amazon some feed within the nests of other social bees, utilize flesh of dead animals, or even live among scale bugs that give them food and building material. Some are obligate parasites, stealing the brood food from inside nests of other meliponines. Pot-honey is a minor honey in the market but a major honey in the forest, produced by many hundreds of flowering plants and demanding integrated conservation. Complementing the unifloral honeys of Apis mellifera, many more pot-honeys are yet to be appreciated by the public. The analytical corpus developed to study and standardize honey produced in combs is also valid for pot-honey. Honey ferments inside the nests of Meliponini, and the process continues after harvest. According to A. mellifera standards it is spoiled, yet a more medicinal product results and may remodel our concept of honey. As shown here, the meliponines, support a legacy of bees interacting with human culture, traditions, art, science and philosophy.

Editors and affiliations

  • Patricia Vit
    • 1
  • Silvia R. M. Pedro
    • 2
  • David Roubik
    • 3
  1. 1.Zumba SurUniversity of the AndesMeridaVenezuela
  2. 2.Ribeirão PretoBrazil
  3. 3.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboa, AnconPanama

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-4960-7
  • Copyright Information Springer New York 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-4959-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-4960-7
  • About this book