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Stingless bee 3, f, side, peru 2014-07-30-13.17.15 ZS PMax (15839098322).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Meliponini
Genus: Melipona
Illiger, 1806

Some 40, see text

Melipona is a genus of stingless bees, widespread in warm areas of the Neotropics, from Sinaloa and Tamaulipas (México) to Tucumán and Misiones (Argentina). At least 40 species are known. The largest producer of honey from Melipona bees in Mexico is in the state of Yucatán where bees are studied at an interactive park called "Bee Planet" which is within the Cuxtal Ecological Reserve.[1]

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 now is of minor commercial importance. Research is going on in improved beekeeping techniques.

In addition, Mexican Melipona species are known to be good pollinators of the vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia),[citation needed] increasing the harvest of this valuable crop. Due to their small size and lack of stings, they can also be used as pollinators in greenhouse culture of pepperfruits (Capsicum spp.). Irapuá (M. ruficrus), though, has a reputation of being 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).

Selected taxa[verification needed][edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martinez, Veronica (6 November 2013). "Abrió sus puertas el parque interactivo “Abeja Planet”" (in Spanish). Mérida, Mexico: Por Esto!. Retrieved 9 May 2015.