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Excessive temperatures benefiting local honey producers

Chetumal, Q.R. — Honey producers along the Yucatan are part of the minority not minding the excessive heat. While others complain, honey producers say the heat has increased production.

President of the Apiculture Renaissance Society, Rosendo Barux, says that all this heat has produced more flowers, which in turn, means more honey for producers.

“For the beekeeping sector, it does not affect us. The more heat, the more production because the flowers come out. We have entered the two months of canicula and are hoping to make more honey this year,” she says.

She says that last year, the region produced approximately 80 tons of honey, and that this year, their goal is 90 tones.

“The beekeeping partners are hoping for an increased production since it’s canicula. Everyone is hoping to have a good cut since this is when the high flowering occurs and we have the potential of harvesting more honey,” she said.

She explained that the only complication beekeepers are facing this year is the rare abandonment of the bees from the apiaries.

Last year, more than 8,000 Yucatan beekeepers had the opposite problem when they were faced what is called “collapse of the hive”, when bees leave the hives in search of sugar and proteins. What remains is not enough to sustain the young, resulting in deaths.

During 2017, Yucatan beekeepers experienced a loss. “It was reduced to approximately 6,500 tons in each beekeeping cycle,” said Nelly Ortiz, coordinator of honey in Yucatán, which was down significantly from their normal 12,000 ton harvest per year.

According to scientists “collapse of the hive” is due to various factors such as attacks of pathogens, invasive species such as the varroa mite, drought or cold.

Beekeeping sustains approximately 42,000 families in the country who work in the 1.9 million hives located primarily in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Jalisco, Zacatecas, Campeche, Morelos, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.