Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


December 7th, 2021

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, December 7th, 2021) The Pedro Bover Apiary is one of the 14 experimental farms that the Ministry of Agrarian Development of Buenos Aires Province has in this, which is the most populated district of the Argentine Republic. This was noted by the Agronomist Osvaldo Atela on December 3rd during the 50th aniversary of his large and active Assn of cooperators, "created in 1971 to unite governmental and private efforts", as Atela declared this Saturday in "La Miel en tu Radio" a radio program by Leandro Frígoli that is broadcast by "Radio Ekko" from Azul city, in the same Buenos Aires province.

4857 members from all over the country, neighboring countries and Europe passed through this institution. With more than 750 students who have attended the Queen Bees Breeding course that has put this institution at the forefront in the matter for Latin America.

In the photo during the celebration, two great references of Buenos Aires and national beekeeping, on the left Osvaldo Atela, responsible for the Pedro Bover Apiary since 1988 up to now, also much loved in the province of Córdoba where he came to lecture the same queen bees breeding course in what was the Apicultural Technological Center of this Mediterranean province in 1993; and to the right Carlos Rossi who worked for many years in the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs of Buenos Aires province, with an endearing relationship with this Bee Farm -as he stated before those present-, dedicated since the 90s to private activity and also very recognized in Córdoba for his contributions in nutritional issues of the honeybee, during a couple of Fairs and Beekeeping Meetings from the Center of the Country, in San Francisco, Córdoba, 1996 and 1998.

The Board of Directors -explains Osvaldo- has 22 members, coming from five neighboring districts with different political parties relationships, but that does not interfere in the life of the Assn.

The institution had a very important investment period until 2006, under Juan Carlos Lorenzo presidency, who is 94 years old today. With him we made buildings, classrooms, offices. Then came maintenance stages and now we are again in a growth stage, investing in vehicles and in the bee selection program.

Regarding this selection program ... "what we have not been able to find were lines of resistant honeybees against varroa mites or which could live with them. This is impossible to achieve at this time. There are some comments that there are lines with proved resistance and that they can coexist with a low percentage of varroa. But once those lines go to field, to production, they do not resist. That is the great debt or weak point that this institution has as genetic improvement. We have not restricted spending on this issue, we have put into practice all the ideas we had. For example, in 2011 we did a national and provincial survey with more than 100 samples from north to south, without finding, in the analyzes of mitochondrial DNA, a honeybee line capable of living for two years without any treatment. That is the great debt it owes to producers. "Thus ended the interview conducted by Leandro Frígoli, opening the discussion on a technical issue of great importance so that this anniversary and the passage of these beekeeping masters, does not remain a mere anecdote.

This Osvaldo's conclusion makes us wonder: is it possible to find genetic variations that have developed in such a short time of coexistence of the honey bee with varroa? Do not genetic modifications or adaptations require interaction periods much longer than the century that this Honeybee/Varroa relationship would not have reached yet? ... Moreover, given the mutations of the mite, originally described for other species by Oudemans in 1904, and to whom several variants have been found in the last 30 years. What is a property of every parasite that adapts to its host in different environments and times. Does it allow the complex genetics of the individuals in this honey bee superorganism to produce modifications capable of adapting to the speed of adaptation and mutation of the mite? A discussion that certainly puts into perspective the present problem of producers and the need of certain scientists or technicians to magnify some possible results in this matter.

Our congratulations to Osvaldo Atela, his team of collaborators, and to the members of this Assn. of cooperators of the Pedro Bover Queen Bees Breeder Farm for celebrating this anniversary with such present content.

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Fernando Esteban

Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine