What is stingless bee?

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.

Why stingless bee

Stingless bees have populated for over 50 million years in tropical forests and stingless bee honey is used by indigenous people as a traditional remedy for illnesses and diseases. Only until recent years, Meliponiculture (Stingless Bee Keeping) started to receive attention due to the high nutritional value and medicinal properties contained in it.

With size ranging from 3mm to 10mm only, they are able to sip and forage nectars from inflorescences of tiny flowers and deepest space of flower blossoms. Therefore, stingless bee honey is rich in vitamins and minerals compare to ordinary honey.

Unlike other bee honey, stingless bee honey is stored inside an egg-shape propolis pot. Therefore, nutrition and goodness of propolis will infuse into stingless bee honey and provide a great source of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial.

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