During the colonial era, Europeans introduced the Apis mellifera, also known as the European bee or domestic bee, to the American continent.
But the American continent was already the home of the melipona bee, the native or stingless bee that until a few years ago had remained unknown to much of the world, but which was conserved, protected and cultivated, with techniques dating back to pre-Hispanic times. , in different indigenous communities.
The melipona bee has existed since before the Spanish arrived; It is a pre-Columbian bee and the way in which the indigenous groups of America traditionally raised and cared for it in order to produce it has been preserved to this day.
The Mayan beekeepers call their hives “jobones”, and they are part of a ritual that uses a series of marks to identify the upper part of the hollowed-out logs where the bees enter and leave. These marks, which are usually crosses, circles or squares, represent the universe through which bees have the possibility of traveling through heaven and Earth.