About us

Meli Bees Network gUG is a non-profit organisation based in Baden-Württemberg, with roots in the most endangered areas of the Amazon. Inspired by the Meliponini bees, aims to create environmentally and economically sustainable activities that allows both land and people to flourish.

We bridge the traditional communities in the Amazon area, researchers and environmentally engaged groups around the globe to deliver thriving cooperation to achieve a large and effective positive impact on the global climate.

Who we are

Meli was started by a new generation of Amazonian leaders who have witnessed first-hand the rapid destruction of our home in the last decades. We see the need to strength the protection and regeneration in our area, acknowledging social and environmental questions.

Ana Rosa de Lima

Ana is engineer and podcaster. Raised in the Amazon, she has lived on three different continents and sees her "home's" global importance. She believes it's important to address both environmental and social questions for land and people to flourish.

Ana Rosa de Lima

Director
Cynthia Rabelo

Cynthia is pedagogue and storyteller born and raised between the rivers Negro and Solimões. She builds deep relationships in the communities to celebrate and honour the Amazonian heritage while developing collaborative educational work.

Cynthia Rabelo

Bees and Education Leader
Patricia Nunes Silva

Biologist, master in Ecology, PhD in Entomology and science disseminator. Patrícia studies bee biology and ecology since 2002. In 2020 she started "louca das abelhas" on social media. Her research focuses on stingless bees's foraging behaviour.

Patricia Nunes Silva

Bees Expert
Gabriel Costa Oliveira

Biologist (UFPA - Pará Federal University), master in herpetology (Museu Emílio Goeldi) and science disseminator (Herpaid'égua). Born and raised in Pará, he lives between Marabá and Belém.

Gabriel Costa Oliveira

Science Team
Thalita Barredo

Agriculture engineer (UFRA - Amazonian Rural Federal University), she had experiences with apiculture and meliponiculture since the start of her studies. From Marabá, she studied in Parauapebas, in the Southeast of Pará.

Thalita Barredo

Bees Specialist
Sina von der Heyde

Sina is an Anthropology-Student raised in Portugal, where she learned to love and appreciate nature. She is passionate about global justice, believing that reconnecting to nature will solve environmental issues and bring humans all over the world closer.

Sina von der Heyde

Communication

Community Board

José Luís Costa

- Smallholder community (assentamento) Califórnia, Maranhão
- Journalist
- MST Activist

José Luís Costa

Campesino Board
Raquel Paz

- Quilombo Bracinho do Icatu, Pará
- Pedagogy
- Rural inclusive education

Raquel Paz

Quilombola Board
Jonas Guajajara

- Arariboia indigenous territory, Maranhão
- Agroecology technician
- Native beekeeper

Jonas Guajajara

Indigenous Board
Reni Lourenço

- Smallholder community (assentamento) Frei Henri, Pará
- Smallholder

Reni Lourenço

Campesino Board
Wandro Cruz

- Araguaina, Tocantins
- Agricultural Extension
- Agricultural technician
- Native beekeeper

Wandro Cruz

Beekeeper Board

Advisory Board

Gabriella Crescini

- International cooperation,
- Financing and marketing.

Gabriella Crescini

Strategy and Impact Advisor
Christoph Grüter

- Prof. Uni. Bristol
- Author of the book Stingless Bees: Behaviour, Ecology, Evolution

Christoph Grüter

Academic Advisor
Christine Gould

- Food & Ag
- TFF Founder
- UN Food System Advisor

Christine Gould

Strategy Advisor
Marco Garofalo

- Commercial strategy
- International & Commercial law

Marco Garofalo

Strategy Advisor

How we Work?

The Network

Our Network is made of:

Contributors Team: Contributors developing clear paid or volunteer activities in the network, that might take place in any region around the world,

Community Members: Anyone who self-identifies as members of indigenous, quilombola, campesino or other rural and urban communities, committed with leading socioenvironmental positive impact can apply to be a Community Member. The Meli Core Team they would join should decide regard the application via consent. Lacking a Core Team in their region, Global Team should check the possibility to open a new Team in the particular region. Any Community Member can either apply or be invited to the Community Board and/or to their respective regional Core Team.

Advisory Board: experts who advise the Network if needed.

Teams

A Team should be present in each location where Meli is active. Each Team should have a Core Team made of Contributors of Community Members

Teams in the Global North: Meli Bees Network in Ochsenhausen,

Teams in the Global South: Associação Rede Meli Maranhão, Associação Rede Meli Sudeste do Pará.

Leadership

The leadership groups of the Network:

Global Core Team: direction board of each Team, regardless of location.

Regional Core Team: direction board of the Team in the respective region,

Community Board: representation of Communities profiles,

Activities Boards: each core activity supported by Meli (agroforestry, native beekeeping, technology, culture, etc.) should have a board made of Contributors, Community Members and/or Advisors who can be involved on particular projects/activities.

Project/Activity Groups: Persons who are going to be involved in a particular project or activity. Projects and activities can be suggested by any Meli Member via diverse open channels, as our monthly community meetings or community groups. Regional/Global Core Members can engage on project/activity in a clear working group. The working group of each activity will be the decision-makers of this particular activity, based on consent.

Testimonies