Mayan beekeepers believe that the native meliponinae bees were a gift from the god Ah Muzen Cab and a link to the spirit world. For centuries they’ve provided enough honey to make the Yucatan peninsula one of the world’s largest producers. But in the past few years, the hives have been disappearing and the dwindling supply of honey has been contaminated by pesticides.
In 2011, the Mexican government began offering subsidies to farmers willing to grow soy, allowing GMO soybeans into the region. The farmers who seized that opportunity were overwhelmingly from the Mennonite communities who could afford the necessary amount of land and machinery. Due to it’s affect on the bees and their honey as well as increasing health problems in the region, in 2015, the Supreme Court banned GMO soy yet the primarily Mennonite farmers continue to cultivate it with impunity and are purchasing and deforesting the Yucatan’s rainforest at an alarming rate to make room for their crops and endangering the health of Mennonites and Mayans alike.