Using stingless bees as an educational tool in Australian schools
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This chapter discusses one Australian teacher’s need to find an alternative enterprise to the European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., due to many students within the school having anaphylactic allergic reactions to bee stings. The alternative was the Australian stingless bee, Tetragonula carbonaria Smith. After discovering this bee, and being fascinated by it, this teacher went on to develop an education program about stingless bees. The education program was used to teach a Year 9 class and its success is detailed in the text. Stingless bees could be utilised as an educational tool in a number of teaching areas, to improve student learning. Developments within the stingless bee industry would aid the conservation efforts and improve the economic value of the bees and their products. Personal experiences of an Australian native stingless bee keeper are shared as well as future directions that he has to further improve his business with stingless bees.