Stingless Bees: Mayan's Golden Treasure Threatened By Monsanto's GMO Soy Fields

Categories: On The Farm

Melipona beechi or Stingless bee has been the honey bee of the Maya for millennia. Smaller in size than the European honey bee, the melipona beechi also cannot sting, making it a delightful species to keep at home. Traditionally, Mayan families would often have their hives tied to the sides of their homes, and indeed, in a handful of communities scattered across the Yucatan and in other parts of Mexico, primarily Puebla, you can find this practice still alive.

The Mayan bees are famous for their docile nature, but they differ in other ways as well. Their colonies are much smaller, so while the productivity of an individual bee is similar to that of the European honey bee, a hive of melipona beechi will produce only 2-3 litres of honey per year. Their stinging cousins produce a whopping 50 litres per year, a factor that has contributed to their widespread cultivation. In a world obsessed with volume, that puts the peaceful melipona beechi at a severe disadvantage. Until you taste the honey. Then you realize that Melipona honey is the closest thing on earth to the nectar of the gods.

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