There are approximately 600 species within the stingless bee genus, with the majority of these species being located in Latin America, the mainland of Australia, Africa, and Eastern and Southern Asia. Stingless bee or Meliponini is widely known as ‘Kelulut’ in Malaysia. Stingless bees have stingers, but they are highly reduced and cannot be used for defense, though these bees exhibit other defensive behaviours and mechanisms.
Stingless bees also play an important role in the ecology, economy, and culture. They act as the main pollinators for many wild and cultivated tropical plants. According to research from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), the specialty of the stingless bees is the ability to pollinate small-sized flowers due to their diminutive figure which cannot be achieved by the relatively big honey bee.