Stingless bees are kept for honey production worldwide.
While Trigona is pantropical, I don't know if anyone has imported Melipona to other tropical regions of the world.
We may never know for sure because it's a sustainable form of subsistence agriculture. It's very local, and probably doesn't get reported. Let's put it this way, you don't call up Dadant's or Beeweaver to get things going. You find everything that you need locally.
Watch out, here they come into the greenhouse:
'The stingless bee, M. quadrifasciata, was significantly more efficient than honey bees in pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.'
Last edited by WLC; 07-01-2011 at 04:36 PM.
Yes, mostly it's racist mean Europeans that don't consult natives that are down there trying to keep them from destroying their quaint little hobby.Originally Posted by hpm08161947
I suppose if the natives extinct their bees we'll step in and figure out how to pollinate their vanilla beans for them. White Man's Burden.
I know, right? Duh. Not that it matters too much, apparently there are not many young folks who want to mess with it, so the old people might as well take it to the grave.Originally Posted by hpm08161947
There may be underground beekeepers, but all we have to by is the documentation. You know, the facts. Unless math is racist, too?Originally Posted by WLC
It isn't math, it's socio-economics. Frankly, they have a way of life that's incomprehensible to many of us. But, it's every bit as valid as my own way of life here in midtown Manhattan, New York City.
I'm not going to define their honey bees, or their honey, 'away' from them.
Last edited by byron; 07-01-2011 at 05:23 PM. Reason: spelling
I'm both scientist and social activist (and more).
Let's put it this way, I had the pleasure of showing the rooftop garden apiary to some visiting Russian and American scientists recently. One was the head of a major Russian research institute, and another won the most prestigious environmental award in the world. I'm consulting on an environmental project that they're working on.
And yes, I've represented the poor and elderly as part of my elected office (past tense).
However, I would be just as honored to spend my time with even one of those Melipona/Trigona 'honey bee' keepers in that photoessay that I linked to in the other thread. I'm sure that my distinguished guests would feel the same way.
byron, please try to be a little more open minded. The world is already an unfair place, let's not make it any worse.
Let them have their honey and their honey bees. Hmmm?
It didn't contribute to the thought (like some of the other stuff I write).
byron, why don't you like indigenous people? Is this 'blowback' from that caucasian thing?
Try to think more objectively about what's happening: first their bees aren't defined as honey bees, and now their honey isn't even honey any more.
That's why definitions can be a dangerous thing depending on who's doing the defining. The ESA and others haven't done those Melipona and Trigona beekeepers any favors.
Speaking of the natives being consulted about the spelling of honey bees, isn't it funny how it's goofy white yuppie suburban types who want to romanticize various and sundry "indigenous" ways of life, while those very third worlders are tripping over themselves to grasp at anything and everything Western? They are basically voting with their feet, sometimes literally, by copying everything they can about us, to the best of their limited ability, and in millions of cases, breaking into our country illegally. I think they are telling you where you can stick your appreciation of their indigenous lifestyle.
Who were we to tell them their cab was to be called honey in the first place? In fact, who consulted the bees? Don't be so humanist, the critters get a vote too. And there are more of them, so by WLC's criteria, they get to decide.
ESA rules, like them or not, are based on the consensus of experts in the field. You don't have to like their names but to publish in one of their journals you must use them. Common names for insects are very problematic and a headache for entomologists, and frankly they matter very little to scientists. I guarantee they could care less what you call the bees in your hives WLC. On a side note, as a member of ESA, I don't appreciate you slandering a great organization.
Would you also call bumble bees Honeybees? They also make honey.
Why, thanks for that advertisement.
Yes, I know how their rules affect publishing guidlines.
I think that the definition for Apis species as 'Honeybees' is just fine.
Apidae (bees) from which honey is collected (who collects honey from bumble bees?) should be be called honey bees.
Why, you might ask? Because they're true bees, and you get honey from them.
frostygoat here's the real rub:
Melipona and Trigona beekeepers can't sell their honey as 'honey' because someone decided that their bees weren't 'honey bees' since entomologists (like the ESA) called them 'stingless bees' even though they've been gathering honey from them for thousands of years.
Maybe the ESA will rectify their error by calling Honeybees 'stinging bees' so that nobody can sell their honey as 'honey' anymore.
That's a social injustice caused by a lack of forsight and a cultural bias.
Hey, I didn't do it. Your organization did.
How do you define "scientist"? I've seen how and why you define other things the way you do, and it's never really quite the same way as everybody else.
But as far as consulting the natives about what they call things, according to Thomas Jefferson and others, we asked the Amerinds what they called honey bees, and they said they had never seen them before and called them White Man's Flies:
The honey-bee is not a native of our continent. Marcgrave indeed mentions a species of honey-bee in Brasil. But this has no sting, and is therefore different from the one we have, which resembles perfectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that it was brought from Europe; but
when, and by whom, we know not. The bees have generally extended themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers. The Indians therefore call them the white man's fly.
But on the White Man's Flies thread, you insisted that, again, everybody was wrong, and that it was all made up by white people.
So, when we do consult the "natives," you still aren't happy. I'm seeing an unscientific pattern here.
And obviously we didn't consult the Native Americans about how they spelled honey bees, because they hadn't seen them before, and they found it hard to spell anything until we taught them their ABC's.
We're working on the definition of 'Honeybee' and 'honey bee' (although some of you are still at 'honeybee', which is the same as 'honey bee' to me).
I've jsut presented you with a scathing example (thanks to a link from hpm) that demonstrated how a definition created by an organization can disqualify indigenous beekeepers from selling their Melipona/Trigona honey as 'honey'.
It's gotten so ridiculous, that someone has proposed calling it 'divine elixir' instead of 'honey'.
You can't make this stuff up.
The traditional Mayan name for this bee is Xunan kab, literally meaning "royal lady".
You don't think that 'definitions' can have a real impact?
When you limit definitions to a point where there's no incentive for people to keep native pollinators in tropical and subtropical rainforests, many of which are being cleared away as we speak, there's very little hope that even the largest rainforest fragments will remain viable.
AHB/EHB can't pollinate as effectively as native pollinators, like Mellipona and Trigona, because they aren't as physiologically well adapted to the local forest as those native pollinators are.
It's strange how definitions can impact a rainforest. If they aren't 'honey bees', and they don't make 'honey', then there's no reason to keep them around since you can't sell your honey.
This isn't about the quality of the honey. It's about closed markets and the definitions that make that possible.
I wonder if the same is true in South and Central America? That honeybees prove more effective because of their vastly greater numbers and portability.