Apiculture and meliponiculture: is there a BEE-fference?

Photo by mostafa eissa from Pexels.

By Vina Medenilla

Beekeeping, as its name suggests, is the science and art of raising and breeding bees in bee hives or boxes for honey and wax. There are other terms for beekeeping that vary depending on the type of bees raised. They are as follows:


Apiculture is the act of rearing honey-producing bees, typically of Apis species, including Apis dorsata, Apis indica, Apis cerana, and Apis mellifera.

These honeybees can sting when they feel threatened or at risk. The manmade hive where they are cultivated is called an apiary.

Five out of nine honey bee species, according to the Haribon Foundation, are native to the Philippines, including Apis cerana, locally referred to as laywan. 

Read: Going abuzz: How to set up an apiary


Meliponiculture, on the other hand, is the practice of growing stingless bees or meliponines. The primary distinction between stingless bees and honeybees is that the former is smaller in size and does not sting. 

One of the common and most important stingless bees native to the country is kiwot (Tetragonula biroi). 

If an apiary is a home for honeybees, a meliponiary is where stingless bees are kept.

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Vina Medenilla
Vina Medenilla is a content producer for Agriculture Monthly magazine. She is a graduate from Miriam College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Fashion, photography, and travel are some of the things she loves. For her, connection with nature is essential to one’s life.

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