Some 40, see text
Several species are kept for honey production, e.g. in Brazil, where some are well-known enough to have common names. Melipona honey has long been used by humans and nowadays is of minor commercial importance. There is ongoing research in improved beekeeping techniques.
In addition, Mexican Melipona are known to be good pollinators of the vanilla orchid Vanilla planifolia, increasing the harvest of this valuable crop. Due to their small size and stinglessness, they can also be used as pollinators in greenhouse culture of pepperfruits (Capsicum spp.). Irapuá (M. ruficrus) on the other hand has a reputation to be somewhat of a pest in citrus plantations.
The medical plant Hog plum (Spondias mombin) is also occasionally pollinated by Melipona. Important predators of Melipona include woodpeckers, such as the White Woodpecker (Melanerpes candidus) which is very fond of M. ruficrus.
- Melipona beecheii Bennet[verification needed]
- Melipona bicolor (Lepeletier, 1836)[verification needed] – Guarupu, guaraipo
- Melipona compressipes – Tiúba
- Melipona compressipes manaosensis – Jupará
- Melipona fasciata Latreille[verification needed]
- Melipona fuscipes Friese, 1900 (Latreille, 1811)[verification needed] –
- Melipona fuliginosa (Latreille, 1811)[verification needed] – Manduri-preto
- Melipona interrupta – Jandaíra
- Melipona marginata Lepeletier, 1836[verification needed] – Manduri, manduri menor, mandurim, minduri, gurupu-do-miúdo, taipeira
- Melipona mimetica
- Melipona quadrifasciata (Lepeletier)[verification needed] – Mandaçaia, amanaçaia, manaçaia, "uruçu"
- Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides
- Melipona quinquefasciata (Lepeletier)[verification needed] – Mandaçaia-da-terra, mandaçaia-do-chão, uruçu-do-chão
- Melipona ruficrus – Irapuá
- Melipona rufiventris (Lepeletier)[verification needed] – Uruçu-amarela, tuiuva, tujuba, bugia
- Melipona rufiventris paraensis – Uruçu-boca-de-ralo
- Melipona scutellaris Latreille, 1811 – Uruçu-nordestina, "uruçu"
- Melipona seminigra
- Melipona seminigra merrillae – Jandaíra
- Melipona subnitida Ducke[verification needed]
- Warwick Estevam Kerr - famous Brazilian scientist who did many studies of Melipona.
- Trigona - another genus of stingless bees.
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