The name given to one of the worlds smallest bees which means 'royal lady' in Mayan. Only found in central America in the Yucatan Peninsula , resident of tropical lowland forests. The Melipona beecheii plays various major roles, ever since ancient Mayan populations until now in Yucatan's Peninsula environment . For Mayans their whole production used to be sacred for them, from the honey to the wax; they used it for medicine and sacred rituals. In an environmental and biological view it plays a role for pollination for crops; as well as for the vital dispersal of genetic variation within central America’s unique wild plants. Therefore, socially and economically it is vital.
Ever since Mayans stopped the ancient tradition of raising the Maya bee in traditional ways their numbers have started to the decline. Today, introduction of sugar cane and pharmaceuticals have replaced the medicinal and nutritional roles of this Bees. The introduction of the Africanized honeybee to the Americas by Europeans has led a more profitable production honey, taking their roles of production even further. The worst part is that the flora that Melipona beecheii Honeybee visits, is not visited by the africanized honeybees; such as the tomato family, and several forest trees and shrubs, which rely on this species for pollination. In addition of today's technology, reasons such as pesticides, loss of habitat through deforestation and hurricanes has led this species to become endangered.
As Rogel Villanueva, David W. Roubik and Wilberto Colloucan published in their International Bee Association article. “ For the last 14 years the stingless bee keepers have been losing, on average, about 22 colonies each year.” This numbers are alarming. The actions taken so far are to instruct beekeepers in the construction and use of hives that will ensure the survival of existing colonies. To adopt a legislation to protect forested areas from complete destruction, especially cultivated areas....
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