Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee

The Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee (Meliponula ferruginea) is an insect in the Apidae family of honey bees.

The Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee is small. It has a brown head, thorax (chest), and abdomen. It has six legs. It does have a stinger on its tail, but it is so small that it is not noticeable, and it does not sting in defence. Its wings are transparent. It has large eyes.

Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee

It measures about one centimetre (a third of an inch) in length.

It is found in Kenya, Africa. It prefers warm climates where it is active all year round.

It is a pollinator and produces excellent honey. It is diurnal, which means that it is active during the day, usually early in the morning.

It feeds on nectar from flowering plants. It has many predators, such as birds, wasps, dragonflies, spiders, reptiles, frogs, bears, and other mammals.

The Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee nests in trees. It also nests in window frames and door frames.

It has four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. 

It lives in large perennial (lifetime) colonies of 40,000-80,000 bees, comprising one large egg-laying queen bee, male drones (without stingers), and lots of worker bees (mostly infertile females). 

The worker bees are the only bees that gather pollen and nectar from plants. This is called foraging. Pollen is collected on their back legs in a pollen basket. Worker bees process nectar from flowers, transforming it into honey.

Kenyan Stingless Honey Bee

Location of photograph: Taita National Park, Kenya

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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