The Mayan Melipona Bee
Sanctuary Project

Support for
women beetenders
of the yucatan

Objectives

Preserving
Ancient Traditions

The Mayan Stingless Melipona beetending tradition is documented back 3200 years BUT is beeing lost in favor of the more productive European Honeybee

Mayanmeliponabee.org in Alliance with
ashevillesistercities.org

Women owned and sustainable

Create
New Sanctuaries

Our sweet dream… is to boost severely declining bee populations by bringing bees to 5 villages per year from 2022-2027. With funding and infrastructure we can create pollinator corridors with sustainable Bee Sanctuaries, preserving traditional cultural practices for the future.

The MAYAN Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project Support for women beetenders of the yucatan

Mayanmeliponabee.org
in Alliance with asheville sister cities

Xunan Kab

The Mexican Yucatan is home to the Mayan Stingless Melipona bee. She is called Xunan Kab which means Royal Lady Bee in Mayan language. There is a documented 3200 year old tradition of honey harvesting in Maya lands. Xunan Kab is the only honey bee native to North America and has a distinctively unique pyramid shaped comb. The Melipona Bees are crucial rainforest pollinators and the pollinator of the Vanilla Orchid.

Women of the Yucatan have recently begun honey cooperatives from what was once a men only practice. This new development has encouraged a few women to create their own MELIPONA HONEY BEE SANTUARIOS and honey businesses which continue the preservation of their ancient Mayan bee tending practices.

Bee the Future and grow a network of Meliponarios throughout the Yucatan— a whole corridor of pollinator sustainability can be achieved—-with your help!

Women of the Yucatan have little opportunity for starting eco-businesses mainly due to low or no income, limited education and resources, and society traditions.

The Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project is specifically dedicated to funding Women in rural pollinator areas of the Yucatan Peninsula with Melipona Honey Bee Apiary start-ups, by providIng funding for education Our goal is to Sustainability establish new Melipona Bee Sanctuaries which maintains healthy bee populations. This model allows women to sell their rare and valuable Medicinal honey in local markets and abroad thus creating opportunities to sustain this ancient cultural practice and revive declining Melipona Bee populations.

The MAYAN Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project
Support for women beetenders
of the yucatan

Mayanmeliponabee.org in Alliance with asheville sister cities

Director of Mayan Melipona Bee Project

Rebecca Ann Robertson

Rebecca Ann Robertson is a veteran BEE tender and Community Activist living in Asheville, North Carolina, USA


Rebecca has traveled extensively visiting bee temples around the world that preserve ancient traditions and sacred beekeeping practices.

The MAYAN MELIPONA BEE SANCTUARY PROJECT was conceptualized and founded by Rebecca after she was invited in 2020 to represent Bee City USA/Asheville, NC in a delegation traveling to Asheville’s Sister City of Valladolid, in Yucatan Mexico.

Rebecca’s connection to the Melipona bees and their women keepers was immediate as was her decision to find the ways and means to support her beekeeping sisters to grow and thrive, economically and culturally.

The MAYAN Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project
Support for women beetenders
of the yucatan

Mayanmeliponabee.org in Alliance with asheville sister cities

Our Hive Members

Francisca Moo Yah

Mayan Elder Melipona Advocate

Nana Shuni Giron

Mayan Medicine Healer, Ceremonialist & Translator www.nanashunigiron.com

Stephen Buchmann,Phd.

Author & Science Advisor www.stephenbuchmann.com

María Luisa Rodarte Reyes

Valladolid Coordinator mlroddis@yahoo.com

Cathy Peerless

Sister Cities Valladolid Comm. Cathypeerless@yahoo.com

The MAYAN Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project
Support for women beetenders
of the yucatan

Mayanmeliponabee.org in Alliance with asheville sister cities

Lisa Soledad Almaraz

Multimedia Producer Sister Cities Valladolid Cmte. Lisa@EartheartNetwork.org

Patricia Algara, Asla

Melipona advocate patricia@baselandscape.com www.withhoneyintheheart.com

Linda Go

Web & Landscape Designer Linda-GO.com lindagomusic@gmail.com

Project budget & deliverables

The MAYAN Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project
Support for women beetenders
of the yucatan

Mayanmeliponabee.org in Alliance with asheville sister cities

The Mayan Melipona Project costs $9,000 USD per Village

Our honey of a dream are donations for 5 villages per year starting in 2022 through 2027 your donation would contribute to ~

  • 12 live Melipona Hives $200-300 per hive
  • Secure installation of hives for new bee tenders where applicable
  • Four workshops about native plants for pollinator gardens, Melipona Beecheii care in the Mayan tradition,
  • Indigenous honey harvesting practices, rituals and ceremonies, and help to market the extraordinary, medicinal and rare Melipona Honey
  • Bi-annual visit with The Melipona Project team member and Project affiliate.
  • Basic equipment such as jabons, protective palapa huts , hive stands, fencing, harvesting tools and receptacles, and native flora for start up pollinator gardens delivered by March 2022

What your donation provides

$100 = 1 Baby hive

$200-$300 = 1 Melipona Bee hive

$400-$500 = Pollinator garden plants

$400-$900 = Education and Marketing

$1000 = Equipment & retail jars

$3000-$5000 = Infrastructure for Bee Sanctuary

$9000 = Hives, infrastructure & harvesting equipment to accommodate one village.

Bee A Part
of Our Hive

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Testimonials

Some things are just meant to happen. The Xerces Society’s Bee City USA program actually launched from Asheville, North Carolina. In 2020, when Asheville’s Sister Cities program asked Bee City USA-Asheville to participate in a delegation to Valladolid which is Mexico’s honey capital, I suggested Rebecca A Robertson. She had been an advocate for bees for many years, and she had a long relationship with Mexican Mayan culture. Little did she know that she would meet one of the local leading advocates of Melipona beekeepers on that trip. That encounter changed her life, and now she is fully committed to helping Mayan women restore declining Melipona bee populations. It is thrilling to see these legendary stingless tropical bees at the center of the Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project

Phyllis Stiles, Founder & Director Emerita of Bee City USA
Bee City USA – Asheville Leadership Committee

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