Both the honey and the brood of stingless bees are relished by Africans. The honey is usually sourish and thin compared to that of honey bees, but it can be just as tasty, depending on the species of stingless bee and the source of the nectar. On rare occasions they may make honey from Euphorbia flowers, and since the plant is known to be poisonous, Africans regard this honey as poisonous too.
At the top the nest, which is lined with a mixture of cerumen and mud, is connected to the outside by a more or less vertical passage. Below the nest is a second passage like a pipe, half a metre or more in length and which simply ends in the ground. This acts as a drain pipe for any water that may reach the nest. Within the nest cavity the brood area is enclosed in laminated sheets of cerumen, separate from the storage pots. The brood cells are arranged in layers, to form a more or less spiral comb.