Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


April 26th, 2022

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, April 26, 2022) Beekeepers from southern Chile gathered around Mario Flores have begun the "National Beekeepers Union of Chile". Mario Flores is an internationally recognized queen bee breeder for his invention, in the 1990s, of the helical pollen trap. Currently his son, Mario Flores h., PhD student in Social Sciences at the University of La Plata, Argentina, is one of those who is in the assembly of this organization.

The trigger seems to be the bad honey harvests in recent seasons due to the drought and the consequent death of beehives. This would have exposed the insufficient income that beekeepers receive for the pollination services they provide to seed and fruit companies in Chile.

"The great giant woke up," Mario Flores begins by saying, in a message distributed among beekeepers in Chile in the days of April 2022.

"The costs of the hive, all colleagues should know that setting up a hive for pollination today is an investment of at least $130,000 (Chilean pesos) and perhaps more. Because for no reason do we have to underestimate the biological material, (we must) assign it a corresponding value. A brood chamber will cost them between 35 and 40,000 chilean pesos, a kilo of wax, of good foundation from operculum wax no less than $12,000. They cannot think of feeding less than 25 kg of sugar per beehive (per year). ; today it is between 780 and 900 chilean pesos per kg. Go adding. They can't think of less than $ 8000 worth of sanitary treatments per beehive. They cannot ignore the unforeseen events that occur, for example death of 20 and up to 40% of beehives. At this moment there are already colleagues, not small ones, big ones, who already have a loss of 30 to 40% of beehives". And he continues his analysis of costs for which he asks for an income floor of $40,000 (Chilean pesos) per beehive and for pollination service, approximately U$S 50.-

In just 15 days the Union in formation has summoned almost 500 beekeepers with about 200 thousand beehives, however, other beekeepers have been raised in disagreement with the call.

Some argue that orchards with certain fruit trees, such as cherry trees, are not as profitable today for the fruit grower and that he would be unable to hire beehives at that price of close to 50 US dollars. Others, who have contacted this newsroom, question a marked personalism in the call. The organizers aim to convene the National Beekeeping Network and sit down at a table with the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile and the companies that group the fruit sector for export and seed producers, FedeFruta and Ampros respectively.

The news is in progress in the midst of a scenario altered by the increase in acts of violence and subversion in the Araucanía region and, for what could be, a certain mistrust of the business sector against the new government of Gabriel Boric. For now, the fruit company "San José Farms" producers and exporters of avocados, citrus, walnuts, almonds and blueberries in some 1700 hectares and with more than 30 years of history, has just terminated its contract with Apizur, the beekeeping farm in Gorbea, near Temuco city, created by the same company to provide its pollination services.

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