There are more than three hundreds species of bee
s in Brazil
- two hundreds of them concentrated in the Amazon
region. A very interesting characteristic of these species is that most of them are docile, stingless bees, very different from the traditional Africanized bee
) used by commercial honey
Since 1994 there is an effort to educate the native population of Northern and Northeastern Brazil, in order to reduce the extinction risk of these bees and also to introduce a sustainable, economically viable activity of honey production.
The most common species are Melipona crinita ("jandaíra", "yellow bee" in Tupi), Melipona compressipes (also known as "jupará" in the Amazon and "tiúba" in the state of Maranhão, Brazil) and Melipona scutellaris ("urucu"). Most of them are known by the Native Brazilians, which use their honey as food and medicine.
Outside Amazon, the most famous species is
Tetragonisca angustula ("jataí"), a tiny bee which produces very small quantities of a quite pleasing to taste honey, less sweet than that from Apis mellifera. It's interesting to notice that many people allergic to common honey don't have problems consuming jataí honey; children, specifically, find it very tasteful.