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Author Topic: New antusiast from Brazil  (Read 728 times)
leandrogcard
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Location: São Bernardo do Campo - SP - Brazil


« on: January 30, 2013, 02:28:09 PM »

Hello All,

In the next days I am moving to a new apartment with a very nice balcony facing the woods, and I decided to install a few swarms of stingless bees in there, just as a hobby. This is becoming rather common here down.

We do have a lot of different species of stingless bees in Brazil. There are about 300 species already identified and more yet to be discovered. They are quite diverse, with different sizes, shapes, colors, behavior and honey productivity. Some of these species can even produce more honey per bee than the Apis Melifera, and  their honey is also more valued in the market. Researching to decide which species to purchase I realized there’s a lot of information available about these Brazilian bees in the WWW, but mostly in Portuguese. I found almost nothing in English about them.  

I also found some chats about these bees in foreign forums, but most of comments showed a very low level of knowledge about such bees. Maybe i can help filling this void, so if anyone is curious, I can bring some info here thus you can learn about them. Just to tease, I would like to post an image of a few of these species below. I’ll be glad to answer any question about these amazing bees, if anyone is interested.

BR
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 02:40:44 PM by Robo » Logged
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 02:48:43 PM »

welcome to the site.  i think there is another member from Brazil who also does stingless bees.  if he's not here, he's on my facebook page and i'll look him up for you later.

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 03:53:27 PM »

Just keep us posted on how it goes with the bees and welcome to the forum.
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 04:19:33 PM »

Welcome to the forum, I find stingless bees very intriguing . Yes keep us informed.
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leandrogcard
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 05:00:47 PM »

Just to add a few more info about my plans;

After some research I decided to get two different species: Mandaçaia (Melipona Quadrifasciata) and Guaraipo (Melipona Bicolor).

The Mandaçaia is the first I´ll purchase and is just slightly smaller than the Apis Melifera, reaching about 11mm in length. It is probably the tamest of all Brazilian stingless bees and thus considered one of the best to keep at home.  Their colonies are quite small, with about 600 to 700 bees, but nevertheless they can produce 2 to 3 liters of honey a year (up to 4 liters in special cases). They can also adapt to the region I live in, where temperature can go down to 5 degrees during winter. But they are not very hygienic, bringing some dust and other garbage to the hive, so the honey must be collected with some care to avoid contamination.

The Guaraipo is a little smaller, with about 9mm, and is also so tame that one can open the hives to extract honey with no special care or protection. They form bigger colonies than the Mandaçaia, with up to 1500 individuals, but the honey production per colony is smaller, about 1,5to 2  liters  a year (up to 3 liters in particularly favorable conditions). By another hand they are more hygienic, not bringing too much trash to the hive. This species can also resist to moderately low temperature levels, about zero degrees Celsius, if the weather does not stay so cold for more than a day or two.  But they cannot survive if the air is too dry, and some water reservoirs must be placed inside the hive if humidity goes too low.

These are the “girls” I intend to install in my balcony. I´m moving to the new apartment this weekend, and will start to build the hives as soon as I´m established in there. If everything goes well, I´ll order the first swarm in one or two months.


BR to all.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 09:11:27 AM by leandrogcard » Logged
Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 05:20:11 PM »

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your bees.




Joe
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 11:24:39 PM »

I would love some stingless bees then I don't have to wear anything when working them.

Do they have them around these parts??  I mean in America??

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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 11:43:23 PM »

http://www.facebook.com/gesimarcelio

here is my facebook friend from Brazil.  If  you are on there, you might contact him.

here is the facebook link for the beemaster facebook site also.  sometimes we get international contacts on there, that are not on here.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/55633188198/?fref=ts
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
leandrogcard
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 05:58:59 AM »

I would love some stingless bees then I don't have to wear anything when working them.

Do they have them around these parts??  I mean in America??


As far as I know there are no native species of stingless bees above central Mexico region. These species are mostly tropical, and can be found basically in warm climates. Besides, most species are not interesting for beekeepers, because they produce no useful honey, are difficult to adapt to artificial hives, can damage the flowers while harvesting  nectar or are rather aggressive. 

Nevertheless, among all species some are really productive, quite peaceful, adaptable to captivity and good pollinators. These are of interest for keepers.  We have more than 300 species of stingless bees in Brazil, but only a minority, from 30 to 40, have these desirable characteristics. Anyway, there are still plenty of species to choose! And one must consider that unless Apis Melifera bees, which are all the same species even if they have slightly different colors, sizes or behavior, these stingless bees species are really different ones (many belong even to different genera), showing a much wider variation in all aspects.

And among the few tens of Brazilian species that are suitable for beekeepers a handful are adapted to southern states, and thus can survive moderate low temperatures for a while. Some are so small and tame that can be kept inside home as pets (and still produce very small amounts of delicious honey),and others can survive the not too strong winters provided there are some heating system inside the hive, much like in tropical fish tanks.

I believe there are some restrictions about importing such bees to the US, but it does not seem to be something impossible to change, if you consider other stingless bees can be imported from even more distant places like Australia, and that the honeybee itself is a foreign species, and not native to the Americas.


BR.
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leandrogcard
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Location: São Bernardo do Campo - SP - Brazil


« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 06:02:23 AM »


here is my facebook friend from Brazil.  If  you are on there, you might contact him.

here is the facebook link for the beemaster facebook site also.  sometimes we get international contacts on there, that are not on here.


Thank you.

I'll see if I can contact him, maybe I can purchase my swarms from him.


Greetings.
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 02:50:42 PM »

Thanks BR for the info on the stingless bees. Very interesting

Annette
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