Landscape ecology of apiculture in the Maya area of La Montaña, Campeche, México

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University of Florida, 2001 - 184 pages
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ABSTRACT: Apiculture is one of the most important economic activities for rural communities in the Yucatan Peninsula. In part, this results from the rich natural melliferous and polliniferous flora found in the area and from the beekeeping tradition of the Maya population. At La Montaña, Campeche, México, beekeeping is currently the number one income-generating activity. Honey production is currently carried out with Africanized bees (Apis mellifera L.), for marketing to national and international markets. An analysis of some economic aspects showed that profits are benefiting only a small sector of the population that has better management skills and investment capacity. Better technology and technical training, as well as the diversification of the activity could provide more benefits to the region. Nevertheless, for this to happen external investment is needed, particularly to increase the organizational, administrative and technical skills of beekeepers. The landscape at La Montaña greatly benefits apiculture as the different vegetation types are rich in nectar- and pollen-yielding species. More than 100 species from at least 67 genera and 31 families of trees, shrubs, vines, woody-vines and annuals were found to be important for honey production. These species are present in the different vegetation types found in the region, including lowland and upland forests, fallow areas, recently disturbed sites, and savanna communities.

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