Pollen Collected by Stingless Bees: A Contribution to Understanding Amazonian Biodiversity

  • Maria L. AbsyEmail author
  • André R. Rech
  • Marcos G. Ferreira


The Amazon region encompasses one of the largest terrestrial biodiversity reservoirs on earth. To understand how all these species interact and maintain biological networks is a challenge for anyone interested in complex questions. Here, we will consider bees and the plants used by them as food sources to gain insight into the Amazonian “tangled bank,” as phrased by Darwin. We start the chapter with the evolutionary origin of bees and flowers and their confluent trajectories over the last 120 million years. We then move on to studies using pollen to discuss the mutualistic/antagonistic sides of pollen-consuming behaviors. Finally, we take the accumulated knowledge about plants and bees in the Amazon region and relate it to the sustainability of meliponiculture activity within this region. In addition to producing honey, meliponiculture is considered to be a socially, economically, and ecologically important activity to promote real, regional development.



We thank Patricia Vit for inviting this contribution and the reviewers for all the corrections. We also thank the Laboratory of Palynology of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) for sample preparation and analysis, Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas (FAPEAM) for the scholarship awarded to the third author and for funding (Proc. 062.01180/2015), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the scholarship awarded to the first author and for funding (Proc. 477127/2011-8).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria L. Absy
    • 1
    Email author
  • André R. Rech
    • 2
  • Marcos G. Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Laboratório de PalinologiaManausBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Curso de Licenciatura em Educação do CampoDiamantinaBrazil

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