RedLAC Beekeeping Platform
Beekeeping can be a powerful development tool for small family farmers in Latin America. Lack of technology adapted to tropical and subtropical environments, and poor adaptation to changing context conditions limit the competitiveness of production chains. This is exacerbated by the intensification of agricultural production, deforestation and climate change. On the other hand, awareness of the role of bees as pollinating agents, interest about the use of native forest with non-extractive activities, and the addition of value to primary production offer great opportunities. INTA of Argentina has been collaborating with IDIAF of the Dominican Republic, INIA of Uruguay and INTA of Costa Rica in the development of new technologies for beekeeping, capacity building and the exchange of experiences. They have also developed models of associated beekeepers to meet demands from growing national and global markets.
The project established a platform that contributes to territorial development in the region, validating successful experiences and generating capabilities in other interested countries. It had the following components: Training, Innovation, Articulation and Communication.
The project largely exceeded its original goals, thanks to the development of important partnerships with other institutions, including national and local governments, universities and producer associations.
The technological solution
In order to reduce beehive mortality and increase honey production, the project implemented various technology packages. The main measures adopted included: the systematic replacement of queens and the planned multiplication of the apiary; the sanitary inspection of apiary in spring and autumn with sanitary control strategies without the use of antibiotics but using organic acaricides; periodic monitoring of varroosis, nosemosis and virosis; replacement of frames and panels in the brood chamber at a rate of 30% per year; nutritional protein and / or energy supplementation without the use of honey; and the establishment of field, economic and financial records for management analysis and production planning for the next year, among others.
265 Territorial Technicians and 86 Researchers were trained. The work of 441 Technicians and Researchers was coordinated. Through the combination of the work at collaborative sites, the project and partners’ websites and social networks, more than 20,000 beekeepers were contacted.
48 technological packages were adapted. Their results were implemented in Demonstrative Units resulting in the reduction of hive deaths by 80% and an increase in production of 26%.
Capabilities were generated for the development of climate-friendly rooms; the selection and preservation of 6 genetic materials adapted to different environments, and their multiplication by 47 breeders of queens.
Progress was made in the development of the Silvo Apícola Pastoril system. Also, the pollination service was validated in 30 trials for 12 open pit and under-covered crops.
The Bachelor's Degree in Beekeeping for Development was designed and approved by the relevant authorities.
A Distance Training Plan for Territorial Technicians was developed and its implementation was conducted with the National Technological University of Costa Rica.
A Program for the formation of technicians in apiculture was developed with the National University of the Litoral.
7 new processes and 10 value-added products were developed and 10 associative models were supported for the most demanding markets for quality and value-added products in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Argentina.
In its initial stage, the project had as direct beneficiaries around 20,000 beekeepers and their families (approximately 50% women and youth), 35 organizations of beekeepers, input suppliers, processors and marketers. It also had as indirect beneficiaries more than 100,000 beekeepers, and an indefinite number of consumers who benefited from certified quality honey and new products developed.
Sustainable Development Goals
- Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
- Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) - República Dominicana
- Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
- Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Costa Rica