Promoting meliponiculture to achieve sustainable rural development

Vigência: 2012-2014

Financiador: FAPESP


Beekeeping should be regarded as a prime development and conservation activity, because it can help poor rural communities earn an additional income, reduce the need to exploit natural resources, create incentives to protect the environment, assure crop yields, and maintain plant biodiversity in natural ecosystems. The main aim of this research project is to promote the profitable use of native stingless bees (meliponiculture) as a development tool, ensuring a sustainable future for people, bees and the environment. Native stingless bees gain a particular importance in the light of the current honeybee declines taking place throughout the world, because they could replace their introduced counterparts. However, meliponiculture has been far less popular than the use of the western honeybee (apiculture), and in consequence the sector is still poorly developed and technical skills are still scarce. By helping to maximize production and raise income, to characterize the genetic variability of stingless bee populations, and to improve communication between scientists and beekeepers; the proposed project aims to optimize meliponiculture and thereby contribute towards the sustainable development of rural areas and the conservation of natural ecosystems. The results obtained will be published in recognized peer reviewed journals of the field and presented in national and international conferences. In order to disseminate the results among beekeepers, a manual will be written and delivered to beekeeper's organizations and government institutions. In addition, a public website will be created to promote communication between scientists and beekeepers. Overall, this project will contribute towards the consolidation of a platform for future interdisciplinary research on stingless bees.


  • Rodolfo Jaffé Ribbi - Coordenador
  • Vera L. Imperatriz-Fonseca


  • USP