Cultural Factors in the Survival of Stingless Bee Domestication (Meliponiculture) among the Yucatec Maya

Placeholder Show Content


Recent economic and environmental changes have severely threatened the ancient practice of Maya stingless beekeeping (meliponiculture). My research in southern Mexico and northern Belize examines the factors that influence the resilience of Yucatec Maya stingless beekeeping where it still exists. The circumstances that surround the survival of this tradition involve a reliance on traditional Maya medical theory and reflect an overarching pattern of conflict and resistance that exists between indigenous subsistence and western capitalistic economies. Understanding the cultural context of stingless bee honey is critical for examining the implications of commercialization. Of special interest are the changing gender roles involved in meliponiculture.


Type of resource text
Date created June 2014


Primary advisor Fox, James A.
Advisor Bird, Douglas
Advisor Durham, William
Degree granting institution Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
Sponsor Franz Boas Grant
Sponsor Beagle II Award


Subject anthropology
Subject stanford
Subject stingless
Subject bees
Subject beekeeping
Subject melipona beecheii
Subject maya
Subject meliponiculture
Subject gender
Subject medicine
Subject conservation
Subject yucatan
Subject mexico
Subject belize
Subject indigenous
Subject corn
Subject subsistence
Genre Thesis

Bibliographic information

Access conditions

Use and reproduction
User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-ND).

Preferred citation

Preferred Citation
Dezso, Genevieve (2014). Cultural Factors in the Survival of Stingless Bee Domestication (Meliponiculture) among the Yucatec Maya. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Undergraduate Research Papers, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University.

View other items in this collection in SearchWorks

Contact information

Also listed in

Loading usage metrics...