What's a Mariola bee ?
The Mariola bee, common in Costa Rica produce a medicinal honey commonly used for a variety of eye problems in folk medicine, is an insect of the Apidae family.These bees belong to the Meliponini tribe: "bees without stings", which inhabit tropical and subtropical areas and are native to the American continent. The Mariola bee forms beehives and produces a high quality honey that is used by the locals for food and medicinal purposes.
The workers are small, approximately 4 millimeters long, with a fine body, yellow abdomen, head and shiny black thorax. The hind legs stand out because the tibiae are black and shiny and have a small corbicula or pollen basket.
Males do not differ much, they only have no corbicula (the hind legs do not look so bulky), the face has conspicuous spots, antennas longer than females and the thorax is more voluminous.
The virgin queens are generally very similar to the workers once they are fertilized and are in france posture the abdomen develops a lot due to the activation of their ovaries, being able to be easily differentiated from the workers.
Stingless bees or meliponas are a group of insects from the tropical and subtropical zones, which play an important role as pollinators of the native flora. Before the arrival of the colonizers, who introduced the African common bee (Apis mellifera), the stingless bees were the only bees that stored honey within colony and were used by many indigenous cultures of South and Central America , who used their honey, wax and pollen. Meliponi-culture was particularly important within the Mayan culture, which developed interesting management processes. This type of management constitutes the basis of the guidelines for modern rational breeding.
At present time, meliponas are disappearing as a result of the destruction of native forests related to the expansion of fields for agriculture and livestock. On the other hand, they suffer the damage caused by people who do not have knowledge about the breeding of stingless bees and who, by the desire to obtain honey, destroy entire colonies.