Maturation of stingless bee pot-honey: a new frontier in the gastronomical market
Palabras ClaveMeliponiculture, Processing, Stingless bees, Northeast Brazil, Pot-honey, Social-environmental development, Gastronomical market
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With the goal of sustainability in the development of rural communities in Maranhão State, Brazil, a project of social-environmental development based on the farming of native stingless bees, named ‘Native Bee Project’, was implemented. During 10 years working in the context of social technology, several obstacles had to be overcome― from illiteracy to development of inexpensive techniques for processing honey, to overcoming inappropriate legislation while stimulating change in cultural perceptions. The development and enhancement of honey maturation techniques by the Native Bee Project brought new market possibilities and prospects, and attention to strong components of gastronomical and geographical value of the product. Although applied on a regional scale, the Native Bee Project concept provides a model for conservation of stingless bees and relocation of their bounty to a more appropriate market.