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Locust may threaten local honey production

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Locusts are wreaking havoc on vegetation in and around Solidaridad.

Their arrival a few weeks ago has not gone unnoticed as the large grasshoppers are found day and night on everything from patios to plants. Although temporary visitors, the locust are known for their ability to cause mass destruction on vegetation.

Aniceto Caamal Cocom, president of the Center for Safeguarding Use and Customs, says that Maya areas have begun reporting damage to trees expressing a concern in the reproduction of local honey bees. Bee producers are worried that the locusts are eating the plants that the bees occupy and pollinate to produce honey.

Up until this week, the grasshoppers were mostly in the west part of Solidaridad where the largest concentration of vegetation is found, however they have since moved in toward the sensitive coast areas. They have been found munching on everything from sand dune plants to palm trees, a first according to authorities.

Caamal Cocom says that “We have reports of locust swarms in places like Lazaro Cardenas. There is still time for authorities to do something, otherwise this insect could cause damage not only to flowers for the bees, but even the cattle pastures.”

Caamal Cocom points out that the reproduction cycle of the locusts occurs exponentially and could explode in the coming weeks because the region has a large source of food.

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