Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary


Support for The Melipona Stingless Bees and their Maya Bee Tenders of Yucatán and Mesoamerica.

Our Mission

Preserve Ancient Traditions

Aid in the protection and continuance of more than 3200 year old tradition of Mayan Melipona bee tending, preserving a vital part of our global heritage system.

Creating new sanctuaries

Create New Bee Yards

Fund the establishment of new Melipona Stingless Bee Sanctuaries, actively combating the decline of these critical pollinators and supporting ecological sustainability.

Empowering Beekeepers

Empower Maya Beekeepers

Offer support and resources for the pioneering women of Yucatán launching their own honey cooperatives, promoting gender equality and economic growth.

Join Us in Our Mission

Our Objectives: Preserve, Empower, Establish

Together, we can conserve the ancient Mayan beekeeping practices, empower women beekeepers, and create new sanctuaries for the Melipona bee. Our commitment is to cultural preservation, gender equality, and ecological sustainability, driving significant change in the Yucatán Peninsula and beyond. Your support can make this vision a reality.

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Mayan Codex
About the Mayan Melipona Bee

Xunan Ka'ab

The Mexican Yucatan is home to the Mayan Stingless Melipona bee, also known as Xunan Ka’ab, which translates to “Royal Lady Bee” in the Mayan language. This region boasts a documented tradition of honey harvesting that dates back 3,200 years. Xunan Ka’ab is the only honey bee native to North America and is recognized by its distinctively unique, pyramid-shaped comb. The Melipona bees play a crucial role as rainforest pollinators and pollinators of indigenous fruits and crops. 

Women of the Yucatan have recently begun establishing honey cooperatives, innovating from what was once a practice exclusive to men. This development has encouraged some women to create their own Melipona Honey Bee Sanctuaries and honey businesses, thereby continuing the preservation of ancient Maya bee-tending practices.

Join us in our mission to “Bee the Future” and help grow a network of Meliponarios throughout the Yucatan and Mesoamerica. With your assistance, we can achieve a vast corridor of pollinator sustainability.

Stingless, not Harmless

While Melipona bees are stingless, they are not defenseless. They have been known to bite intruders and emit a pheromone that signals other bees to join in the defense, protecting their hives effectively.

The Healing Honey

Melipona honey is revered for its medicinal properties. Traditionally used for eye conditions, respiratory infections, and wounds, it’s a testament to the bees’ invaluable contribution to health and wellness.

Join Our Efforts to Preserve Nature's Pollinators

The Sanctuary Project: A Safe Haven for Melipona Bees

Our Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project is a multifaceted initiative dedicated to empowering women, protecting the Melipona bees, and preserving ancient Mayan culture. We provide women with the resources they need to start their own bee apiaries, establish new sanctuaries to maintain healthy bee populations, and facilitate the sale of rare and valuable honey. With your contribution, we can continue to promote economic growth, ecological balance, and cultural sustainability. Donate today to make a lasting impact.

Preserving Culture

Our project aids in sustaining ancient Mayan beekeeping practices while also creating opportunities for the sale of rare, medicinal honey in local and international markets.

Empowering Women

We provide funding and resources for women in rural areas to start their own Melipona honey bee apiaries, fostering economic independence and growth.

Establishing Sanctuaries

By building new Melipona Bee Sanctuaries (Meliponarios), we ensure the preservation of healthy bee populations, supporting the survival of these crucial pollinators.

Welcome to bee the future maya.
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Empowering Communities

Bee Impactful: How Your Donations Help has a clear vision to nurture the delicate Melipona bees and the dedicated women beekeepers of Yucatán and Meso-America.

Our project, designed with a budget of $9,000 per village, hopes to receive donations for five villages annually from 2023 through 2028. Each donation directly influences the sustainability and prosperity of these communities, enabling us to continue in our mission.

Donation amounts are rough estimates, giving you a sense of how your contribution might be used. Your support, at any level, directly impacts the well-being of Melipona bees and the preservation of Mayan practices.

Indigenous woman beekener

Pollinating Progress
Our Impact Counter

Number of hives cultivated (55 of 1000+)
55 of 1000+ 5.5%
Number of bees repopulated (1.6M of 10M+)
1.6M of 10M+ 16.5%
People trained in workshops (124 of 500+)
124 of 500+ 24.8%
0 +
Striving to conduct educational workshops and training sessions for over 500 men, women and children by 2028.
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Aiming to cultivate and monitor over 1,000 thriving hives for the repopulation of meliponario bees by 2028.
0 M+
Working to repopulate over 10 million mayan melipona bees by the end of 2028.
Mayan Melipona Bee Project
Meet the Director




Rebecca Ann Robertson, a veteran bee tender and community activist, resides in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.


She holds numerous positions, including:

  • Committee member of Asheville Sister Cities Valladolid-Mexico
  • Team Bee member at the College of the Melissae
  • Leadership committee member for Bee City USA/Asheville
  • Board member at the Center for Honeybee Research
  • Member of Asheville Rotary Club

Rebecca has journeyed extensively, visiting bee temples globally that preserve ancient traditions and sacred beekeeping practices.

She conceptualized and founded the Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project after being 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 female keepers was immediate, inspiring her to find ways to support her beekeeping sisters, allowing them to grow and thrive both economically and culturally.




Mayan Melipona Honey

Mayan Melipona Honey in 3 sizes

Melipona bees and their medicinal honey have become scarce and are considered a precious commodity. We have made it our passionate purpose to revive the old Mayan tradition of beekeeping and prevent the demise of Melipona bees and the traditional Maya beekeeping culture.

Experience the rare and precious Blessed Mayan Melipona Honey, a 100% pure organic honey sourced from our Melipona beecheii beehives in the Yucatan.

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