(Espacio Apícola, December 23rd, 2022) Argentine Beekeeping 2022 Balance sheet
SEASON ON DELAY
More delayed than last year, the algarrobo honey harvest in the Parque Chaqueño Occidental in the west and northwest of the province of Córdoba, although uneven, has given relief to several migratory beekeepers who came from Tucumán and Northern Argentina where the season was not good. In addition, those who were careful to get the algarrobo honey before the mistol or other species blooms that turn them darker appear will achieve a better position to sell them in bulk. Other areas have a very irregular performance such as the north of Santa Fe or the south center of the province of Entre Ríos. In the Humid Pampas area the beehives are developing very well but they are getting darkers honeys than usual which is a clear indicator of drought. Rains are expected to change the outlook.
INTERNATIONAL HONEY TRADE
Exports of Argentine honey to the United States have been normal and the market has largely absorbed the anti dumping sanctions (Espacio Apícola 135 - Spanish only) against honey from Argentina, although the price in the second half of the year was lower than the price of the first one. For its part, Europe continues to maintain tariffs only for honey imported from Argentina and they prefer to buy cheap products of dubious genuineness instead of the honey, mostly from native forests, from natural ecosystems, produced by Argentine beekeepers outside the Pampas Region.
HONEY FRAUD Etienne Bruneau gave us a detailed account of several anomalies in the honey market that point to the presence of fraud during the last Apimondia Congress. His lecture showed some inconsistencies in honey exports, such as the cases of Ukraine or Vietnam that do not match their respective local productions. These days, an email from Rus Litsinger (from Kentucky, USA) on the B-Line caught our attention, stating that Brazil would have gone from exporting some 2,500 tons of honey in 2001, a stable historical value for years, to more than 19,000 tons. in 2003, a very striking growth. Another of the inconsistencies that seems common is what the beekeepers gathered in the Honey Authenticity Project, to which the British Beekeepers' Association BBKA adheres, they have denounced: They have analyzed more than ten samples of retail honey in the United Kingdom that do not comply basic parameters such as diastase activity, invertase activity or HMF levels and yet, as these samples do pass Carbon 13 isotopic analyses, they are simply accepted on the British market.
We have developed this topic in depth in Espacio Apícola 137.
RELEVANT TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTIONS THIS YEAR
PRAIRIE: The increase of fertilizer costs and herbicides and the soil problems caused by the no tilling sowing with chemical fallow in the extensive arable area of Argentina, have favored the tendency to the so-called "cover crops" during the winter, being the Vicia villosa the vedette of this practice for its properties in nitrogen fixation, natural control of emerging "weeds" and that it is good for beekeeping (Espacio Apícola 134). Not counting the solar energy absorbed by these crops and that until now was foolhardy reflected into the atmosphere for more than 8 months a year. In the same edition we reported the notable increase in the area planted with sunflowers in Argentina.
Rapeseed is another crop that is growing with abundant flowering in fields with enough humidity levels in the Humid Pampas at the end of winter. It contributes large amounts of pollen to bees both in its varieties for human consumption (Brassica napus) and for biofuel production (Brassica carinata), both very attractive to bees (Espacio Apícola 135).
POLLINATION: Without ignoring the ecosystem role of wild pollinators we focus primarily on pollination services for commercial crops that make the activity of the professional beekeeper sustainable. They are the basis of our entire commercial chain and also natural cultivators of biodiversity and environmental sustainability. This year, in addition to the advances in the beehive management regarding pollination of Vicia villosa already mentioned, we pay particular attention to pollination for the production of onion seeds in San Juan, Argentina (Espacio Apícola 136). We could not find the protein content and amino acids profile of Allium cepa pollen. We will thank whoever gives us this information.
COMPLEMENTARY TECHNIQUES: Different techniques have been successfully tested in a couple of places in Argentina to study the Drone Congregation Areas. This is a resource to evaluate the area conditions of the queen bee breeding sites and an important tool for the control of the wild swarms by the national health authority since these wild swarms are vectors of different causative agents of diseases and even unwanted characteristics in Apis mellifera.
Another technique that has been successfully adjusted is the identification of Apis mellifera subspecies in Argentina by Wing Geometric Morphometry Analysis. Leonardo Porrini from the National University of Mar del Plata recently demonstrated in a national survey that this technique is equivalent to mitochondrial DNA technic and can be used to certify the breeds or subspecies managed by queen bee breeders and their possible hybridizations. A technique that many queen bee breeders in Argentina have already put into practice from the courses given in 2011 by Tiago Francoy (the full explanation of the technique in Espacio Apícola 89) to identify possible traces of unwanted hybrids in queen bee breeder farms.
Both works on these techniques were recently published in Spanish in Espacio Apícola 137.
APIMONDIA CHILE 2023
The website of the next Apimondia Congress to be held in Santiago de Chile between September 4 and 8, 2023 is now available. At apimondia2023.com you can already access the stand reservation for the Api-Expo.
MACIA EXPO 2023
From March 24 to 26, 2023, the already traditional National Beekeeping Festival will take place in the city of Maciá, Entre Ríos (Arg.). The exhibition brings together many suppliers of hives, tools, machinery and inputs from Argentina and is visited by beekeepers from the Central East of the country, from Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, even from Peru and Chile.
The cost of the commercial stands in the beekeeping area is $40,000 (forty thousand Argentine pesos) for an area of approximately 9 m2 with 3 meters in front. About U$S 230 at official rate today for bank transfers.
We thank subscribers, sponsors and readers in general for your support and feedback throughout this year 2022. Your support is vital in every way and justifies our effort to reveal, highlight the novelties, experiences or genuine findings that magnify our beloved Beekeeping. Merry Christmas and a peaceful year 2023 to you and your loved ones, Fernando
Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine apicultura.com.ar