Stingless bees, sometimes called stingless honey bees or simply meliponines, are a large group of bees (about 500 species), comprising the tribe Meliponini (or subtribe Meliponina according to other authors). They belong in the family Apidae, and are closely related to common honey bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees, and bumblebees. Meliponines have stingers, but they are highly reduced and cannot be used for defense. Meliponines are not the only type of "stingless" bee; male bees and bees of several other species, such as in the family Andrenidae, also cannot sting.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Michener, C D. The bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 972 pp.
- ↑ Silveira, F A; Melo, G A R; Almeida, E A B. 2002. Abelhas Brasileiras: Sistemática e Identificação. Fernando A. Silveira, 253 pp.
- ↑ Roubik, D W. 1989. Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees. Cambridge Tropical Biology Series, 528 pp.
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