Melipona beecheii  is part of the Melipona genus, which consists of tropical stingless bees (Beismeijer 1999). M. beecheii in particular is found from Mexico to Costa Rica (EOL 2013). It was found that the temperatures in this range were found to be between 16oC and 41oC and that the best operating temperature for Melipona b. is between 16oC and 26oC (Beismeijer and Toth 1998). It also has been shown that the bee is more active in higher humidity and high sunlight, which makes sense for the geographic range (EOL 2013).  The bees make their nests in nests formerly made by termites or ants, trees and tree branches, and also in the ground. (Beismeijer 1999) The bees cultivate nectar from flowers, and produce honey. Much of the surviving colonies are cultivated for honey by humans.

                The bees are well noted to be very selective, as shown in an experiment run by Jacob Beismeijer and a team of researchers, M. Beecheii were shown to be more selective than even others from the Melipona genus. (Beismeijer 1999).  It is also noted by those who cultivate the flowers. The cultivation of honey from these bees is a sacred process for the Maya, and as said by one cultivator of the bee, Don Porfírio, “It will, it seems, only take nectar from the most beautiful flowers.” (Bellows 2012). This is good for M. beecheii as they live sympatrically with more than a dozen other stingless bee species (Beismeijer 1999).
Melipona beecheii in a log, provided by Juan Carlos di Trani
             Melipona beecheii are very selective in their habitat location as well as they will only reside in hollow logs that are over 30 cm wide. Deforestation has therefor created a decline in the population. Also, it has been shown that smaller organisms are more likely to be affected by changes in temperature or rainfall or sunlight, so abiotic factors could be attributed partially to the rarity of M. beecheii. (EOL 2013) Melipona beecheii is predated upon by birds, lizards and spiders as well which can reduce the population of the species (Beismeijer and Toth 1998).

             Melipona beecheii is very susceptible to pesticides, and because of that its numbers have been declining. The bee is also hard to find in the wild, even in forested areas where conditions are favorable (EOL 2013). Though Melipona beecheii was first found in lowland forests, the bee has adapted to the cycles of dry and wet seasons of other forests found around their area.(EOL 2013)  The introduction of the African and European bees has lessened the ancient Mayan practice of cultivating these bees, so their numbers in human captivity are declining as well as in the wild (Beismeijer 1999). When being cultivated by farmers, they are almost exclusively kept in logs. (Villinueva-G 2005).


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