Field Trip to Mani – Organic Agriculture School and Melipona Bee Project

MEL  EXCURSION TO MANÍ:

Yucatán Peninsula Xunankab (Melipona) Bee Honey and the Escuela de Agricultura Ecológica U Yits Ka’an

MEL members, residents and visitors alike, are probably well acquainted with Merida’s terrific Slow Food Market that takes place every Saturday in the shopping plaza at the corner of Colon and Reforma.  What many of us do not know about is one of the local interests of the international Slow Food (SF) Foundation for Biodiversity – the Yucatán Peninsula Xunankab Bee Honey Presidium (group). Supported by SF International, SF Mexico, and SF Yucatan, the project focuses on the melipona bees of the Yucatan and aims to, among other things, sustain quality production of a food that is at risk of extinction and to recover traditional processing methods.  The Presidium involves more than 35 beekeepers who have for some years been working closely with the Escuela de Agricultura Ecológica U Yits Ka’an, a multidisciplinary educational project that involves farmers, educators, Catholic priests and alumni who want to support rural families and adopt agroecological processes as a model for a sustainable way of life.

The  MEL excursion to Maní will visit the Escuela to learn about melipona beekeeping and to see some the other agricultural projects of the school.  One of our guides will be Aliza Mizrahi, a leader within Slow Food Yucatan, who is familiar to many who buy her farm produce at the Saturday market.  In addition to the tour, arrangements have been made to have producers of bee products and medicinal herbs on site, along with some of the artisans that have made the embroidered blouses and textiles of Maní well-known.  Both groups will have items for sale.

After our visit to the Escuela we will go for lunch at El Príncipe Tutul-xiu, a local restaurant that is renowned for its Poc Chuc.

Time- permitting, a stop will be made to visit the grounds of the convent of San Miguel Arcángel de Maní, the place where Fray Diego de Landa burned the Maya codices.

TOUR LOGISTICS

Date: Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Time:  Bus will leave at 8 am, return around 4/4:30 pm (this is approximate, may be earlier or later, traffic depending; the drive to Maní is a little over an hour)

Departure & Return Location: the plan is to leave from the parking lot of the Slow Food Market (Centro Comercial Colon – Avenida Reforma /Calle 72 with Avenida Colon) BUT this will be confirmed prior to the excursion

Cost: 400 pesos TBC (includes transportation and a donation to the Escuela de Agricultura Ecológica U Yits Ka’an)

Lunch: cost of lunch is NOT INCLUDED, please bring cash to pay for your meal. Lunch plates at El Príncipe range between 55-95 pesos, so lunch with beverage etc could be 100-200 pesos depending on your selection.

Walking Conditions: although there are paths, the grounds of the school and the fields are a bit rough. Good footwear is a must and you should be comfortable with walking & standing for most of our visit.

Essentials: hat, bottle of water, mosquito repellant, sunscreen

Bring some cash: for lunch,  and also for any purchases at the Escuela such as embroidered shirts, honey products etc.

Perfume and repellant: Please refrain from using perfume the day of our excursion. We hope to be able to have some of the hives opened up to see inside. If we are lucky, we may see the Queen bee and her supporters but they do not like strong odours. With repellant, we are asked to put it on beforehand or on the bus, so that there is no strong odor.

 

SIGN UP AND PAYMENT

  • A sign-up sheet will be available at MEL as of  Monday 8 January
  • Payment will be due when you sign up; please try to bring exact change
  • NB Group size is limited

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