Currently, stingless bees' populations are declining due to environmental degradation. In this context, the authors have developed a research project in the central-western region of Mexico with the goal to generate strategies for conservation and sustainable management of stingless bees. The chapter aims to present the process of this investigation and its main results in terms of a) local knowledge and management strategies of stingless bees, and b) the social process of technological appropriation of meliponiculture by beekeepers. We recognized specific knowledge on the biology and ecology of stingless bees that result in a system for identifying species and management strategies of wild populations of these bees based on the extraction of nests. The implementation of an innovative productive activity based on the principles of meliponiculture and current techniques has been well received by producers, which has led to the formation of the Meliponicultores Michoacanos del Balsas Association, which grows five species of stingless bees. The research suggests that conservation associated with the use of bees (integral meliponiculture) can be enhanced in the region. Faced with the loss of biodiversity and environmental crisis, it is essential to maintain and enhance local knowledge of stingless bees and management practices. This represents an alternative to develop management schemes that allow the raising and breeding of these bees, while its products are obtained.
Part of the book: Beekeeping and Bee Conservation