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Mesoamerican Native Bees Working Group

CONTACT
CARLOS H. VERGARA (MEXICO) carlosh.vergara@udlap.mx.

The Mesoamerican Native Bees Working Group is an initiative from a group of people interested in the scientific study, use and preservation of the rich bee fauna present in the Mesoamerican region, comprising most of Mexico and Central America.

The group counts with the participation of scientists, stingless bee keepers, educators, and organizations devoted to the conservation of native bees throughout the region.

Formal organization of people interested in Mesoamerican Native Bees started in 1999 with the celebration of the First Mexican Seminar on Stingless bees. The Seminar became a Congress and the geographical scope now covers the Mesoamerican region and convenes more than 400 people every two years, alternating hosts between Mexico and one of the Central American countries.

In November 2017 the X Mesoamerican Congress on Native Bees was held in Antigua Guatemala with the participation or more than 400 people from 10 countries, including participants from South America.

The Organization of the Congress offers Pre-Congress courses on many subjects such as Pollination Biology, Meliponiculture, Bee Taxonomy, Plant-Pollinator Networks, Bee Genetics, Education, among others.

During the closing ceremony of the Antigua Congress many people expressed the need for a formal representation of the diverse organizations and individuals working and interested in Mesoamerican Native Bees. This is how the proposal of implementing a Working Group within ICPPR came about.

The working group has the following objectives:

  • Participate in the organization of the 11th Mesoamerican Congress on Native Bees in 2019
  • Serve as the first instance to form an organization that formally represents the interests of the various members of the Group.
  • Obtain representation within IUCN as a body that plays a role in the conservation of pollinators in Mesoamerica.
  • Prepare a pollinator protection project for the entire Mesoamerican region, including legislation on the use and management of pollinators and on the use of herbicides, pesticides and other substances that affect pollinators.
  • Facilitate the granting of funding for research and protection of pollinators in the region.
  • Propose legislation on the use and conservation of stingless bees and on the trade of their products.