The melipona bee is a stingless species that has been cultivated by the Mayan people for hundreds of years and they call it “sacred Mayan bee”, due to the healing properties of its honey. Such is the importance of the bees that the Maya, in pre-Hispanic times, performed in their honor between four and six ceremonies a year.
Melipona bees and their honey were subject to tax payment, both before and after the arrival of the Spaniards. The main characteristic of the melipona bee is that it has no stinger, but to defend its colony it "bites" everything that represents a threat, they cling in such a way that they die during combat. Among the products that this bee produces are honey, pollen wax, propolis, in addition to its valuable service as pollinators.
A melipona hive produces a liter and a half of honey a year, its production process is longer compared to that of European bees that produce up to 30 liters of honey in a year. Although the production of honey is lower, it is much more beneficial than the honey of other bees since its medicinal properties help the immune system, in addition to being used to cure ailments, wounds, burns and diseases. In the cosmetic branch it is also highly appreciated, as it is used to create products such as soaps, creams and talc.
The pollen of melipona bees has a protein value 50 percent higher than that of the rest of the bees. On the other hand, it is known about the use of stingless bees as pollinators of the following crops: achiote, avocado, coffee, pumpkin, chayote, habanero pepper, mango, cucumber, watermelon, tomato, among others.