Many of us are used to seeing the typical Mexican images of dusty streets and worn down buildings. Yes, they do exist but there are many beautiful old, newly restored and new buildings to discover in Merida, Mexico. The image above is of the new museum in Merida – Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Museum of the Mayan World). This wonderful building houses a very large collection and displays all aspects of the Mayan civilization. We spent many hours visiting here and still did not see everything on view. Highly recommended !
While viewing the exhibitions I stumbled upon one small case displaying the historical importance of honey in the Yucatan. Showing all aspects of keeping bees and collecting honey, the presentation displays how the Melipona bee has been around the Mayan world for a very long time. Today many families in rural villages still keep a hive or two in a hollowed out log to supplement income and of course consume. The honey is sold often in plastic bottles at the local markets for a very reasonable price. The warm temperatures mean a long beekeeping season with continually flowering trees providing a lot of the nectar. This offsets the bees natural low nectar gathering tendencies.
Many articles have already been written about this bee. To find out more about its history, visit this link
To read about the cultural pride and social organization for the Mayan women who manage these hives, visit this link
But to really understand the Melipona bee, I suggest you grab yourself a ticket to Merida and enjoy the wonderful aspects of the city and its people.