Is There a Kind of Bee That Doesn’t Sting?

Photo by Eric Ward


There are two bees that do not sting. The first, as the name suggests, is the stingless bee. The second is male bees. Both male bees and stingless bees do not have stingers. However, the female stingless bees do have stingers but they are too weak to cause any serious pain upon being stung.

Let’s look at both these bees in detail:

Stingless Bees

The bees that do not sting are known as stingless bees. Stingless bee species have been around for millions of years and they have adapted to a variety of habitats. They can be found in the tropical rainforests of South America, Africa, and Asia. There are over 1,000 different species of stingless bees in the world. Some of these species have only one or two queens per colony while others have more than 100.

These bees live in colonies with multiple queens and workers. In some cases, the queen is fertilized by another female worker bee. While this may seem like a strange way to reproduce, it actually works well for them because it allows the queen to lay eggs throughout her life without being stung.


Where Do Stingless Bees Live?

Stingless Bees live in many different places including:

Tropical Rainforest: Stingless bees live in the tropics where temperatures range from 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit (27-38 degrees Celsius). This is also where you will find most of the plants and flowers that they use for food.

Deserts: Many stingless bees live in deserts and semi-desert areas. Temperatures here can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) during the day but drop down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) at night.

Grasslands: Stingless bees live on grasslands and savannas. They prefer dry environments with lots of sunlight.

Rocky Mountains: You might think that a mountain would be too cold for stingless bees to survive, but they actually thrive in high elevations. Here, temperatures can vary between -40 and +80 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 and +26 degrees Celsius).

How Do Stingless Bees Reproduce?

Stingless bees reproduce using a process called swarming. When a swarm settles into a new location, the bees build a nest out of leaves and other plant material. Each hive has a single queen who lays eggs all through her life. She does not need to mate with any males. Instead, she mates with other female members of the colony. After mating, the queen dies and is replaced by a new queen. As long as the colony survives, its population continues to grow.

What Parts Of The World Are Stingless Bees Found?

Stingless bees are found in many parts of the world including :

  • Australia: Stingless bees were first discovered in Australia in 1884. Today, there are about 12 different species of stingless bee living in Australia.
  • Brazil: Stingless bees have been found in Brazil since the 1800s. Today, there are more than 30 different species of stingless honeybees living there.
  • China: Stingless bees have lived in China for thousands of years. Today, there are 13 different species of stingless wasps living there.
  • India: Stingless bees have existed in India for hundreds of years. There are currently about 20 different species of stingless bumblebee living there.
  • Indonesia: Stingless bees have inhabited Indonesia for hundreds of years. Today, scientists estimate that there are about 50 different species of stingless drones living there.
  • Japan: Stingless bees have thrived in Japan for thousands of years. Scientists believe that there are about 10 different species of stingless drone bees living there today.
  • Malaysia: Stingless bees have occupied Malaysia for thousands of years. There are now about 15 different species of stingless hornets living there.
  • Mexico: Stingless bees have flourished in Mexico for thousands of years. Currently, there are about 25 different species of stingless ants living there.
  • New Zealand: Stingless bees have evolved in New Zealand for about 2 million years. Scientists believe that they have about 17 different species of stingless flies living there today.

In addition to their native habitats, stingless bees are also found throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

What Are The Different Types Of Stingless Bees?

The most common type of stingless bee is called Melipona rufiventris. This bee lives in Brazil and Paraguay. It’s also known as the red-faced meliponary. Other types include:

  • Melipona bicolor – This bee lives in Mexico and Central America.
  • Melipona quadrifasciata – This bee lives in Australia and New Guinea.
  • Melipona scutellaris – This bee lives in India and Southeast Asia.
  • Melipona subnitida – This bee lives in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Melipona capensis – This bee lives in southern Africa.

What Do Stingless Bees Look Like?

Most stingless bees look similar to honeybees. They have large bodies and long legs. Their heads are small and round. Their eyes are located near the top of their head. Most stingless bees have black or brown hair. They also have four wings. Each wing has six segments. The first three segments are longer than the last three segments. All bees have eight legs. The front pair of legs are larger than the back pair. They also have a pair of antennae at the end of their body. The antennae are usually dark-colored.


How To Find And Identify Stingless Bees

There are several ways you can find and identify stingless bees. You can use your hands, a magnifying glass, a microscope, or binoculars. Here are some tips on how to find and identify stingless bee nests:

Use Your Hands

If you want to see what kind of nest a bee has made, then you should try using your hands. First, gently shake the tree trunk where the nest is located. Next, carefully move your hand around the area until you feel the nest.

Using a Magnifying Glass

A magnifying glass will allow you to get a closer view of the nest. You can use this tool to examine the nest more closely.

Using Binoculars

Binoculars are helpful when you need to take a close look at the nest. With binoculars, you can see details that you cannot see with your naked eye.


What Is The Role Of Stingless Bees?

Stingless bees are also very beneficial to humans. They pollinate plants and provide honey and wax. Honey from stingless bees has a milder flavor than honey from other types of bees. It also contains less water and sugar. This makes it ideal for people who prefer their food to taste sweeter. Stingless bees are also important for agriculture because they help control pests such as aphids and grasshoppers.

Stingless bees have many uses. However, they aren’t just used for human purposes. They are also used for animal feed. For example, they are often fed to cattle to increase milk production. Many farmers use them to keep down the number of flies on their farms. Farmers also use them to keep away from birds and rodents.

The pollination process is important for plants. Without it, most plants would not survive. Many people use stingless bees for pollination. They collect pollen from flowers on trees and bushes and place it on the backs of the bees. Once the bees return to the hive, the pollen gets mixed up with the nectar. This makes it easier for the bees to feed their young.


Male Bees

Male bees are another type of bees that do not sting. Male bees don’t have stings. Instead, they have two pairs of appendages that can be seen under their abdomen. These appendages are called “stinger clubs.” Male bees use these clubs to fight off other male bees. Male bees do not have stings because they are not aggressive. They only attack if they think that they are being attacked. If a male bee does not fight back, he may be killed by his opponent.

What Do Drones/Male Bees Look Like?

Male bees or drones look like females but they have different features. Male bees have smaller abdomens and shorter legs. Males also have an extra set of appendages called “stinger club” which they use to defend themselves against other males. The stinger club is covered in hair-like structures.

What Is The Role Of Male Bees?

So, you must be wondering, what is the role of male bees in a colony? Male bees are responsible for collecting pollen and carrying it back to the queen. They also guard the entrance of the hive so that no one enters without permission. Other roles include helping to build new cells and protecting the queen from predators.

While the female bee collects pollen and builds cells, the drone collects pollen and carries it back to the queen’s chamber. He then deposits it into her stomach. When the queen needs more pollen, she asks him to go out and gather some. After that, he returns to the hive and tells everyone about the good news.

In addition, drones are also responsible for guarding the entrance of the hive. This means that they are always ready to protect the hive from intruders. They also patrol the area around the hive looking for any threats.

Following are the three roles played by the male bees:

Guard Bees

As we discussed earlier, male bees are used to guard the entrances of the hive. They are stationed at the front of the hive. They keep watch over the area and make sure that there aren’t any intruders. They also help the workers when they need to move something heavy.

Honey Production

As we learned earlier, drones are used to produce honey for the colony. They collect pollen and carry it back to the queen’s chamber. Once there, the queen eats the pollen and stores it in her body. She uses this stored food as energy for egg production.

Mating Queens

When a queen wants to mate with a drone, she sends him out to find a suitable partner. Once he finds a potential queen, he brings her back to the hive. Then, he mates with her. After mating, the drone leaves the queen alone. He goes back to the hive and reports on how successful the mating was.


Which Bees Have The Most Painful Sting?

While in the first section of the article, we talked about the bees that don’t sting, now we will talk about which bees have the most painful sting! Female bees have the most painful stings since they have long hairs on them. In fact, they have such long hair that it takes up almost half of their bodies. On the other hand, male bees have very short hair. As a result, they have less pain than female bees.

Female bees also have longer stinging hairs than male bees. So, male bees have fewer stinging hairs than female bees. Because of this, male bees are less likely to get hurt during fights with other male bees. Amongst female bees, paper wasp and the warrior wasp have the most painful sting among all insects.

It can cause extreme pain if it gets stuck inside your skin. If you happen to get stung by a paper wasp, you should immediately remove it. Otherwise, you might end up getting infected. Paper wasps have sharp teeth that allow them to eat through wood or paper.


Read More

  1. What Kinds of Bees Live in the Ground?
  2. How to Identify a Queen Wasp?
  3. Natural Predators of Wasps


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