Melipona beekeepers deliver first order of honey products to hotel

Much Kaab Cooperative packing honey products for hotel

The Travel Foundation’s Melipona bee project in Mexico started to pay dividends recently, as the Much Kaab female beekeeping cooperative despatched their first order of honey products to a hotel.

The Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe received its first delivery of toiletries containing the honey – which is supposed to have special healing powers – on time and on spec. Guests in the VIP section of the hotel will be offered a soap “cheeseboard” on arrival, with a choice of different soaps.

The order for more than 1,000 items – including shampoo, shower gel and soap ­­– earned over £2,400 for the beekeepers. Keen to work with local suppliers, the hotel agreed to special terms and conditions of payment that benefit small business such as the Much Kaab cooperative.

Much Kaab Cooperative making soap

Araceli, president of the cooperative, said, “I want to show society that we can reach success, we can reach our goals and rise against all odds. As a group mainly of women we are doing something to banish discrimination against women.”

The group’s administration manager, Mirna, who is expecting her fourth child, said, “I’m using this money to buy the first clothes and diapers for my soon-to-be-born baby.”

Another member of the group, Erlinda, added, “I’m willing to save money to take my boy to rehab and buy medications, as he is a boy with special needs. I know of other children who have received this care and they have a better quality of life… my kid deserves that as well.”

Maya communities in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have been keeping stingless Melipona bees for centuries. Sadly, numbers of these special bees are declining rapidly and the bees are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that there has been a 93% decrease in hives in the last 25 years.

As part of a project set up with funding from Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel, the Travel Foundation planted 450 fruit trees to boost the bees’ natural habitat, and provided extra bee boxes and training. Now we’re helping the beekeepers to make a living by selling honey products to hotels. The products are branded “Much Kaab”, meaning united or working bees.

5 comments

  1. Congratulations to the Much Kaab ladies, they really deserve this great achievement after putting so much work into their business and addressing the many challenges that come with a project like this so positively.

  2. How can I get in contact with this society. I would like to buy some products from them. Does anyway has a telephone number or email?

  3. I was recently in Riviera Mayan, bought some of the Shampoos and Shower Gel “Papaya”
    most amazing products I’ve used.I commend these hard working women, the bees and this organization for helping them.

    One day, I will return to Mexico and buy many more of these products.
    Be well
    Sharon,
    Montreal, Canada

  4. I stayed at the Park Royal in San Jose del Cabo recently and used the kaab shampoo and conditioner – loved both. Never used the products that I took with me – used only kaab for the month that I was there. Wish I could buy them at home. Kudos to all involved in the production of these products.

    Marilyn
    British Columbia, Canada

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