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November 24, 2022


by Campbell Plowden

October 22, 2022

After visiting several Maijuna native communities in the Napo River region in 2009, we did a few surveys of copal resin and have worked with some Maijuna artisans to help them develop some new handicrafts. We are now happy to be able to sell jars of stingless bee honey made by Maijuna bee keepers in collaboration with our NGO partner OnePlanet at our Artesanías Garza Viva store in Iquitos (136 Jr. Nauta – near Dawn on the Amazon on the Boulevard.).


One Planet team training Maijuna beekeepers

Maijuna native tending stingless bee nest box

Most people are familiar with the honey produced by the European honey bee; fewer people are aware, however, that tropical forests have a wide diversity of stingless bees which pay a major role in pollinating many rainforest plants. Many of them make their nests in or under hollow trees. The size of their hives and their production of honey is less than their stinging relatives, but their honey is renowned for its potent medicinal properties. Its flavor varies from sweet to sour to pungent depending on the species of bee and the particular flowers and resin sources it was gathering.


 Stingless bee nest tended by Maijuna native beekeeper

OnePlanet began training people in several Maijuna communities more than five years ago to capture an intact nest from a tree and then safely install it in a nest box near their village. As the number of bees in one nest grows, part of that hive with a queen can be transferred to a new nest. This process helps grow the overall population of these ecologically important insects because traditional harvest methods often involve just hacking out the nest or cutting down a tree with a nest in it.


 Stingless bee nest boxes maintained by Maijuna native beekeeper

The Maijuna native bee keepers have now become experts in managing the hives and collecting the honey in a clean way. The OnePlanet brand of Maijuna honey has now received a sanitary certificate from the Peruvian government to ensure its purity and cleanliness. This makes it a much healthier and safer product than the honey sold in public markets which provide no such assurances.


 Maijuna stingless bee honey for sale at Garza Viva store in Iquitos

Andrea Isuiza from Garza Viva and Carlos from One Planet introducing Maijuna stingless bee honey to Garza Viva store in Iquitos

For more information about this project, visit: Project photos were published in the OnePlanet page on Facebook.


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