The melipona bee is a species without sting, in danger of extinction, that is native of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The relationship between the melipona bee and the Mayan people dates back to millenary times. The Mayans consider them a gift from the gods. Groups of indigenous women, guardians of this bee, are dedicated to their daily care, protection and reproduction. This activity allows these Mayan women with lack of economic resources to have an income for the welfare of their families.
Mayan rural women and melipona bees share a threatened future: on the one hand, the melipona bee is facing extinction due to deforestation, climate change, the use of pesticides,among others. On the other hand, rural and indigenous women are those who still perform unpaid activities, they do not have access to training, financing, technology, etc. However, the women play an essential role in food security, the increase of their participation in the workforce means an increase in economic growth.
We develop organizational, productive, administrative and marketing skills, among 200 indigenous rural women, to create rural businesses that will allow them to obtain an income to improve of their live conditions through the care and protection of the melipona bee. Mayan women sell the honey and products derived from it. They learn to install a jobon (hollow log where the hive lives), to feed and divide the hives, etc. They also carry out reforestation activities to provide bee forage.
More than 200 Mayan women, who protect around 500 thousand melipona bees, will receive training and the necessary support to be economically and socially empowered, to create a profitable rural enterprise, and to counteract the possible extinction of the sacred Mayan bee, preserving ancient traditions and helping the pollination of the region.
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