Traditional Maya Beekeeping

by douglas reeser on April 21, 2012
Around the globe, bee populations have been mysteriously declining for the last few years. Theories on the cause of the decline include cell phone signals that interfere with bee communications and a variety of chemical pesticides that have had a deleterious effect. Along with the decline in bee populations, it turns out there has been a decline in traditional beekeepers among Maya populations in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. In this short film, Dr. Stephen Buchmann of the Drylands Institute in Tucson, AZ and the Pollinator Partnership offers a glimpse of the ancient practice.

From the producer: "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."

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  1. J-fur7:08 PM

    Glad you touched on this. The decline of bees is really scary, and, I think, doesn't get the public's attention like it should

    1. thanks j-fur!
      we have posted quite a few things on the bee situation, and i think something a bit more comprehensive is in the works. and yes, we agree that this is an important problem that doesn't seem to take hold of the public eye. we'll keep trying though!

  2. Interesting that there may be other factors at play aside from just cell phones and pesticides. Maybe the decline in keepers is something that is being mirrored around the world.


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