The thesis presented by the biologist Luis Abiel Sansores Canul, on the Mayan bees, was transcendental and was preceded by exciting field work, not without risks, which included tours in the middle of the jungle in place like Xcan ejido, Chemax community, with the support of local guides.
The results of the thesis, approved unanimously, will be presented in the framework of the XI Mesoamerican Congress on Native Bees, which will be held in Cholula, Puebla, from November, 25 to 29.
The thesis, entitled “Stingless native bees (Apidae: Meliponini), from Ejido Xcan, in Chemax, Yucatan”, was presented last Monday,Nov. 11, in the Postgraduate Boardroom of the Campus of Biological and Agricultural Sciences (CCBA) of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY).
Sansores Canul work states that stingless bees (Meliponini) are found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world and are of great biological, ecological and cultural importance for the preHispanic Mesoamerican ancient peoples that cultivated them. In fact the ancient Maya called bees with specific names in the Mayan language of course.
The main goal of the study is to keep a record of the diversity of stingless bees that co exist in the ejido of Xcan, Chemax. The study was conducted with tours in the medium sub-deciduous Yucatecan forest (SMSC) and populated areas of the ejido, with the invaluable support of two local guides: Eladio and Martín Uc Hay.
The nests were located and photographed, specimens were collected for identification. The information available for each species was collected and the nests present in the Xcan ejido were identified and monitored.
In total, nine species of stingless bees, of eight genera, were identified, representing 60% of the species reported in the entity (15) and 38 nests were located.
The most abundant species with presence in both conserved and disturbed areas were: the bee known in Maya as K’áantsaak (Scaptotrigona pectoralis) with 29% and Xnuuk (Partamona bilineata) with 24%.
Considering the sampling site, the medium sub-deciduous forest was the one that presented the greatest richness and abundance of species compared to the populated areas. However, there were certain species that occurred only in the urban area of the ejido, such as the bo’ol bee (Nannotrigona perilampoides) and the us kaab (Plebeia moureana).
In an interview, Sansores Canul stressed that involving local people in the study was vital and that is why it is important to disseminate information that helps identify the different species. Besides, as part of this research, a Spanish-Maya catalog was developed that will allow knowledge access to more sectors of the population within the ejido (some Maya speaking, others Spanish speaking people).
In addition, updated information on stingless bees in the ejido will help in the planning of conservation strategies and in sustainable management, as well as in the use of meliponiculture.
The synod was integrated by Dr Virginia Meléndez Ramírez and Dr Laura Meneses, master in Science Humberto Moo Valle, as well as doctors Juan Tun Garrido and José Salvador Flores Guido. Mr. José Luis Sansores and Fayne Beatriz Canu who are the proud parents of the new biologist, were also present at the presentation.
The thesis advisors were two masters in Science: Yariely del Rocío Balam Ballote, from the civil association “P.I.M.V.S. Tumben Kuxtal ”, and Roberto Carlos Barrientos Medina, from the Ecology Department of CCBA-UADY.
The thesis of the biologist Sansores Canul is part of the project “Biocultural diversity of native stingless bees from the state of Yucatan, Mexico”, funded by “P.I.M.V. Tumben Kuxtal” and the Yves Rocher Foundation.
Part of the technical and field team that collaborated in the work are: science teacher José Adrián Cimé Pool, graduates Henry Enrique Chan Sansores and Samuel Canul Yah, biologist intern René Alejandro Villanueva Vinajera and architect intern Johan Alberto Acevedo Herrera .
Students interested in doing social service, professional practices or thesis with stingless bees within the project “Biocultural diversity of native stingless bees from the state of Yucatan, Mexico” can contact Tumben Kuxtal at: tumbenkuxtal.ac@gmail .com
The Yucatan Times Newsroom
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