- About 60 beekeepers from the province of Santa Fe will participate in the Bee Health 2020 LatAm project, which also covers Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica.
- The activities began this week with the monitoring of apiaries, and will continue with the beekeepers’ training to prevent, identify and control the multiple factors that affect the health and productivity of their bees.
[Rosario, April 22, 2019] “Sometimes you did things wrong and you didn’t know it. Instead, now I know how to check my hives, identify signs of disease or problems and fix them”. The experience recounted by Chilean beekeeper Flor Villalobos after participating in the training program Bee Health 2020 LatAm, could soon be replicated among Argentine beekeepers.
This is because a team of monitors and researchers of this project, led by Fraunhofer Chile in alliance with the National University of Rosario in Argentina, will begin this month to work with about 60 beekeepers in the Santa Fe province.
“This week a team of 12 people, including veterinarians, veterinary students and beekeepers, began monitoring apiaries. Their work aims to know, characterize and evaluate the main factors that affect the health of beehives in the province,” says Leslie Vallejos, a veterinarian and researcher at Fraunhofer Chile Research.
In a second stage, she adds, “we will seek to correct the problems detected through training for beekeepers participating in the project. With this we look for to install good practices that help them to improve their productivity through the prevention and control of diseases and other factors that affect the health of the bees”.
A work that gives fruits
Salud Apícola 2020 LatAm (Bee Health 2020 LatAm) was born in 2017 as a project of Fraunhofer Chile Research in collaboration with the Bee Care Center of Bayer AG, Germany.
The program, which has already concluded in Chile, is currently in the training stage in Colombia, in association with Unicomfacauca, and in the coming months work will begin in Costa Rica, in alliance with the Center for Tropical Beekeeping Research (CINAT) of the National University of Costa Rica.
The program’s trainings include eight theoretical and practical sessions in demonstrative apiaries or facilitated by the beekeepers participating in the project.
The topics are adapted to the local problems diagnosed in the monitoring, but always with the approach of preventive medicine applied to beekeeping. This includes the identification and control of infectious agents, good sanitary practices in the apiary and disinfection techniques for beekeeping equipment, among other activities.
Trained beekeepers are already seeing results.
Benjamín García, a beekeeper from Lampa (Chile), points out that “after the training I reduced to a minimum the use of chemical products thanks to better beehive health and I achieved cleaner and more organic production. He adds that before he obtained 300 kilos of honey from 150 hives and, by improving his practices, he obtained 2 tons of honey from 90 hives.
In Colombia, Jaime Yule, beekeeper and monitor of the project in the Department of Cauca, points out that “he had a lot of pests that attacked bees. After the training, I began to correct the sanitary gaps and it worked well. My production improved and the pests are no longer present.