In part two of our focus on stingless bees in Africa, Félix Meutchieye, associate professor in animal breeding and production systems at the faculty of agronomy and agricultural sciences at the University of Dschang in Cameroon, talks about how these bees build their hives and the type of honey they produce, and research across the continent.
Stingless bees take ventilation very seriously, explains Meutchieye. This is evident in the way these bees go about building their nests. According to Meutchieye, studying the way bees build their nests can help humans understand how to engineer artificial hives.
“We need to understand the way they build the entrance towards the sunset or sunrise… There are a few factors we need to understand regarding the natural environment,” he explains.
Meutchieye also talks about the plant preferences of bees and how this could indicate the type of content of the honey they produce, as well as the different by-products that stem from the honey produced by stingless bees.
What about the honey?
Meutchieye says there is a difference in the honey produced by stingless bees compared to other bees. First, the sugar content in stingless bees is much lower than the average.
“The honey is very different, it is less sticky and the sugar content is very low. The type of sugar it contains doesn’t have a lot of glucose and fructose which normally comes from trees.
“But there are some other products inside and those products are coming from the excretion of the trees where they can extract these minute products.”
In this episode, Meutchieye also discusses:
- How stingless bees help health systems; and
- Research done on stingless bees in the world.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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