Stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are one of the most important pollinators of native plants and economic crops in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. They not only establish large perennial colonies with complex social organization but also have a diverse nesting biology. The economic utilization of a total of 60 stingless bee species in Asia has been reported. The current status of meliponiculture in Southeast Asia is mainly focused on pollination utilization and honey and propolis production. This chapter shows that small-scale beekeeping of stingless bees, which is suitable for the flowering pattern in the tropics, is one of the best potential alternative opportunities. The cost-effectiveness analysis based on production yield, investment cost, and profit-return rate is reviewed. Finally, a sustainable utilization of stingless bees is considered to be an enhancer of pollination services both in an agricultural crop and natural ecosystem.
Part of the book: Modern Beekeeping