Local Australian council bans new beehives in suburbia regardless of whether they’re native stingless bees

Image of native stingless beehives.

(ABC News) Noosa Shire Council’s internationally renowned green credentials are taking a battering as beekeepers face a ban on new beehives in the suburbs. The New Noosa Plan, introduced in July, permits only existing, registered beekeepers to keep a maximum of three hives. The plan does not distinguish between stingless native bees and European honey bees.

A Philippine stingless bee helps boost coconut yields and empower women

Image of researcher walking among flowers and coconuts.

(Mongabay) Tetragonula biroi, a stingless bee native to the Philippines, is being cultivated on a farm to both produce honey and pollinate coconut trees. The farm has seen an increase of up to 50% in its coconut yields. Researchers say the presence of these pollinators, known as kiwot bees, can boost yields by up to 80%.

Science sweetens stingless bee species honey health claims

Image of stingless bee on yellow flower.

(ScienceDaily, University of Queensland) Examination of honey from five different stingless bee species across Neotropical and Indo-Australian regions has identified the unusual disaccharide trehalulose as a major component representing between 13 and 44 g per 100 g of each of these honeys. The previously unrecognized abundance of trehalulose in stingless bee honeys supports some of the reported health attributes of this product. According to the researchers, trehalulose is a rare sugar with a low glycemic index and not found as a major component in other foods.

Genetically engineering the perfect bee – in 1892

Black and white image of apiary in orchard.

(Scientific American) “It is said that there are at least two distinct races of stingless bees in South America, but these races have not much value as honey gatherers, and moreover they build combs with very thick-walled cells, and probably they would not be worth cultivating as compared with the European, Asiatic and African races. But if we can cross our bees with the giant bees of India and obtain a race with a long proboscis and perhaps increased size (if that should prove to be of any advantage), and cross this improved race with the South American stingless bees, we shall then have a race of bees which it will be difficult to improve.”

Bees in Amazon ‘are greatest ally to halt rainforest destruction’

Image of indigenous person looking at forest.

(The Guardian) “Bees are everything to me. They help me to protect the forest. They help the trees to stand tall, to produce fruit and to be strong.” The hives of stingless Amazonian bees are not just a hub of pollination, they are also the most economically viable alternative to the environmentally destructive traditions of slash-and-burn agriculture and cattle ranching.

Stingless bee species depend on a complex fungal community to survive

Image of stingless bee.

(FAPESP) A new study shows that the larvae of the Brazilian stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis depend on interactions between three different species of fungus to complete their development and reach adulthood. “The new findings demonstrate that the interactions between these social insects and their microbiota are much more complex than we can imagine. This should serve as a warning against the indiscriminate use of pesticides in agriculture, since many are lethal to fungi.”