“Deep in the rainforest of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, in the shadow of his ancestors’ great stone pyramids, one of the last Mayan beekeepers guards an ancient secret. It was passed on to him directly from his fathers in the Mayan language from long before the time of Cortez. He is one of very few modern Maya upholding the beecraft skills of keeping stingless bees. All is unveiled as Emmy award-winning cinematographer Keith Brust (Planet Earth, etc.) takes us deep inside the bees’ hidden world and this ages old Mayan tradition for the first time.”
Check out this short film (~7 minutes) that shows Mayan, stingless bees up close and in their fascinating roles as guards and pollen gatherers. A feature-length documentary should be released in 2013:
Honey in Mexico is used as a sweetener, especially atop fried dough “sopaipillas,” but it is also coveted for it’s natural healing powers. In Mexico it is eaten if you have a cold or sore throat or to reduce local allergies, spread on wounds for it’s antibacterial property, and on burns to increase healing time and to reduce scarring.
For those of you not familiar with the abundant types of honey- depending on what flowers the bees use to produce the honey, the honey has a slightly different taste and color. We enjoy Mexican wildflower honey, orange blossom honey, and Eucalyptus honey the most. To find out more about Mexican honey, its history and why it is currently threatened, see “Honey: A Sweet Mexican Legacy.” This National Geographic article is a more in-depth look on why the “Maya Beekeeping Tradition” is fading.