Coleção de Abelhas da Universidade Federal do Maranhão / LEACOL-UFMA was initiated in 1984 from a reference collection of Meliponini donated by Prof. João M. F. Camargo. During the years 1982 and 1983 Prof. Camargo, remained at UFMA in the begining of the Biological course in this institution, with the Camargo Collection (RPSP - FFCLRP / USP) based in the Department of Biology of UFMA. In 1984 Prof. Camargo returned to Ribeirao Preto taking with him the RPSP collection, but leaving a reference collection of species of stingless bees of the region and other locations in Brazil. The goal was that those little collection was the landmark, from which we would increase the local fauna knowledge status, thus forming a reference collection of bees to the state of Maranhao. With the support of UFMA and other research institutions and some companies (FAPEMA, CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, MMA, VALE, ALUMAR), this collection has been increased over the years through various surveys of bees in different ecosystems of Maranhão.
Currently, this collection is estimated to comprise about 15,000 specimens of bees mounted on pins,
labeled and packed in entomological drawers arranged in sliding steel cabinet with capacity for 640 drawers. The emphasis of the collection is on species from the Maranhão state coming from the many performed inventories, as well as donations from other regions of the country. It is accredited as a faithful depository collection of samples of components of the genetic heritage by the CGEN also being integrated into the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN).