Apiculture and management of associated vegetation by the Maya of Tixcacaltuyub, Yucatán, México

TitleApiculture and management of associated vegetation by the Maya of Tixcacaltuyub, Yucatán, México
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsChemas, A, Rico-Gray, V
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Date PublishedJanuary 1991
Keywordsapiculture; Maya; Mexico; Tixcacaltuyub; vegetation management; Yucatan

We present the results of field work and a series of interviews with Mayan beekeepers, in order to answer the following questions:

  1. Which factors are relevant when establishing an apiary?
  2. How do Mayans choose the melliferous flora?
  3. How do Mayans manage the vegetation surrounding their apiaries? and
  4. What is their knowledge of flowering phenology and honey production cycle?

Apiary establishment depends on: no apiaries established at a minimum distance of 3 km; water availability (i.e., "Haltunes"); direct access to roads; combination of old and young vegetation (particularly abundance of Gymnopodium floribundum). Melliferous flora is classified according to quality and quantitity of the honey produced; 34 species are considered important at different times of the year. Finest honey and larger quantities are obtained from G. floribundum, followed by Viguiera dentata; the worst honey is from Lysiloma latisiliquum. Management of vegetation is minimum, mainly cutting plants that could impede growing of important melliferous, or protecting ( = not cutting) the latter; nevertheless, some of the most important melliferous are dominant in the vegetation. Their knowledge of flowering phenology and production cycle are quite complex. We discuss the problems the beekeepers are facing in regards to forest clearing, commercialization of produces, etc. (author)

Journal Abbreviation

Agroforest Syst


0167-4366; 1572-9680