In Cuba, Increase in Honey, Beeswax and Propolis Production

cuba.Pedro-Sarmiento-300x200“The bee makes honey, but you have to help,” recently stated the Pedro Sarmiento Pereira in a conversation on the topic. Pereira, an outstanding beekeeper sin the southern central province of Cienfuegos, is a tireless scholar and connoisseur of the fabulous world of bees. Honey is one of the Cuba’s traditional export items, with a sure market in Europe (Germany, for example, pays up to 4,000 euros a ton for Cuban honey). This article explains the increase in honey, wax, and propolis production in the past year.

And it seems like the necessary help, coupled with the ever-existing productiveness of the hives, has been very successful so far this year, in an industry that had suffered in previous periods of a significant decrease in production, caused by the major loss of flowers that resulted from the winds of quite a few hurricanes, starting with the devastating Lili, which ripped through Cuba in October 1996.

In this recent period, beekeepers have collected over 163 tons of honey, three of wax, and 0.27 of propolis. These amounts are higher than those for the same period last year. According to executives of the Apiculture Unit [Unidad Apícola] in the province, the outstanding producers are from the head municipalities, as well as from Rodas and Cumanayagua.

Experts consider that these results respond primarily to the incentive brought about by change of queens in the hives. This year, 500 more queens we replaced than in 2012, thus ensuring better chances for production and an increase the amount of bees. This progress—as well as the influence of increased blooming of flowers, especially in the months of April and May—is also generated by the training given to producers. Regarding the quality of the honey, there are tight controls, especially with not using chemical substances to treat bee diseases. Non-compliance of these qualitative parameters is severely penalized.

In Cienfuegos, they are also reaping the benefits of Melipona bee or bee of the earth, as it is called. For example, in the Horquita experimental seed farm in Abreus, bees decisively affect the pollination of crops in areas of fruits and vegetables.

For original article (in Spanish), see

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