Ambient Science: Click the Volume and issue number for Complete Article

Location where to get the Complete Article --> Ambient Science: Vol 1, No 1 (2014): 38-40

ISSN- 2348-5191 (Print version); 2348-8980 (Online)

Building Walkways: Observation on Nest Duplication of Stingless Bee Trigona iridipennins Smith (1854)

Preeti S. Virkar, Shivam Shrotriya, V.P. Uniyal


Beekeeping for honey and other bee products is an age old practice. Besides the popular honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera, stingless bees belonging to the tribe Meliponini, subfamily Apinae and family Apidae (Michener, 2007) are also reared for honey, having high medicinal value. Stingless bees are exclusive to tropics and their size ranges from 2mm to slightly bigger than the popular honeybee A. mellifera (O'Toole & Raw, 1999). The practice of keeping stingless bees is called meliponiculture, and once it was an integral part of the culture of indigenous people of South and Central America. It held a social and religious significance in the meso-American culture, mainly the ancient Mayans (Sommeijer, 1999). Stingless bee products such as honey, wax and propolis formed a small-scale economy in their livelihood as well (Cortopassi-Laurino et al., 2006). Although least explored, meliponiculture is an age old practice in India also. Kani tribe in Western Ghats is the only reported reference, keeping stingless bees (Kumar et al., 2012). Trigona iridipennis is the widespread stingless bee species in the Indian subcontinent and used for meliponiculture.


  • Barbosa F.M., de Oliveira Alves R.M., de Almeida Sauza B., & Lopes de Carvalho C.A. (2013): Nest architecture of the stingless bee Geotrigona subterranea (Friese, 1901) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Biota Neotropica, 13(1); 147-152.
  • Cortopassi-Laurino M., Imperatriz-Fonseca V.L., Roubik D.W., Dollin A., Heard T., Aguilar I.B., Venturieri G.C., Eardley C. & Nogueira-Neto P. (2006): Global Meliponiculture: challenges and opportunities. Apidologie, 37: 1-18.
  • Crane E. (1999): The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting. 682 pp. Publisher: Routledge, New York.
  • Danareddi C.S. (2007): Studies on Stingless bee, Trigona iridipennis Smith with special reference to foraging behaviour and melissopalynology at Dharwad, Karnataka. M.Sc. Thesis. University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad.
  • Dollin A. (2001): Natural Hive Duplication: An Alternative Method of Propagating Australian Stingless Bees. Aussie Bee Online. Article 3, November 2001 (
  • Heard T.A. (1988): Propagation of Hives of Trigona carbonaria Smith. J. Aust. Entomol. Soc., 27; 303-304.
  • Klumpp J.D. (2007): Australian Stingless Bees: A Guide to Sugarbag Beekeeping. Publisher: Earthling Enterprises.
  • Kumar M.S., Singh A.J.A.R. & Alagumuthu G. (2012): Traditional beekeeping of stingless bees (Trigona sp.) by Kani tribes of Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 11: 342345.
  • Michener C.D. (2007): The Bees of the World. 2nd Edn. Publisher: John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Murillo R.M. (1984): Uso y manejo actual de lascolonies de Melipona beecheii Bennett (Apidae: Meliponini) en el estado de Tabasco, Mexico. Biotica, 9: 423-428.
  • Oliveira R.C., Menezes C., Soares A.E.E. & Fonseca V.L.I. (2012): Trap-nests for stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Meliponini). Apidologie, 44(1): 29-37.
  • O'Toole C. & Raw A. (1999): Bees of the World. Publisher: Facts on File .
  • Rasmussen C. & Camargo J.M.F. (2008): A molecular phylogeny and evolution of nest architecture and behaviour in Trigona sp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Apidologie, 39: 120-118.
  • Sommeijer M.J. (1999): Beekeeping with stingless bees: a new type of hive. Bee World, 80(2); 70-79.
  • Vijayakumar K., Muthuraman M. & Jayaraj R. (2013): Propagating Trigona iridipennis Colonies (Apidae: Meliponini) By Eduction Method. Scholars Academic Journal of Biosciences, 1(1): 1-3 .

  • DOI:10.21276/ambi.2014.01.1.nn01

    Creative Commons License

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
    Published by: National Cave Research and Protection Organization, India

    <Environmental Science+Zoology+Geology+Cave Science>AMBIENT SCIENCE