Sacred Texts  Native American  Maya  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa, tr. William Gates, [1937], at

p. 101


There are two kinds of bees, both being much smaller than ours; the larger of these are raised in very small hives, and do not form a comb as do ours, but instead certain small sacs like wax-nuts, all close together and full of honey. To get this it is only necessary to open the hive and break the sacs for the honey to run out, and then remove the wax as convenient.

The others live in the woods, in the hollows of trees and rocks, where one must hunt the wax. With this and the honey the country abounds, the hones being most excellent save for the fact that it is somewhat watery on account of the fertility of the food of the bees; it is therefore necessary to heat it at the fire, which makes it very good and very hard. The wax is fine, except for being smoky, the reason for which I have not been able to discover; in some provinces it is much yellower on account of the flowers. These bees do not sting, even when the honey is gathered.

Next: XLVIII. Of the Plants, Flowers and Trees; of the Fruits and Other Edibles