Tim Heard: Research developments in support of Stingless beekeeping

I review research activities that have supported the utilization of stingless bees. I review the research on taxonomy and systematics, which allows Australian researchers and beekeepers to identify their species. I introduce the extensive research in the effect of plant diversity on colony success. I also review natural enemies and our knowledge of their biology and impact. I discuss how stingless bee defend themselves against those enemies. The relationship between stingless bees and the cadaghi tree is now well understood and we now believe the resin of this plant is not a threat to the bees. Queenlessness can be a problem for keeping stingless bees, but our improved understanding of colony re-queening helps us to manage this issue. Fighting swarms which is the result of aggressive interactions between colonies of stingless bees, is now much better understood, and our ability to manage them is improved. We have measured the flight range which is crucial information for managing hives. The composition, microbiology and antimicrobial properties of the honey of stingless bees has been the target of a few studies which allows us to develop this product.