In the state of Puebla in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, the Tosepan association, made up of 5,600 Nahuat Indian families, sells the honey of Scaptotrigona bees. This small, stingless bee builds a wax nest whose combs are reserved for the brood. The honey and pollen reserves are kept in stores the size of a tennis ball.
In the Yucatan, Ah Mucen Kab, an association of Mayan women, protects the last melipone beecheiin bees, whose honey was the center of a flourishing commodity trade in the Mayan era. Despite less abundant harvests than those of the European bee, this honey is still much sought after in Mexico for its therapeutic properties.