Guamos, citrus, coffee, guarango, rue, chamomile, sambucus and chirco are just some of the trees responsible for providing pollen to honey bees of the municipalities of Timbío, Totoró and Piendamó in the Province of Cauca.
There are close to 264 plants visited by Apis mellifera bees, one of the most bee species used by approximately 350 beekeepers which produce 25.5 tons of honey a year.
Efrén Muñoz Galíndez, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) in Palmira Agroecology doctoral candidate identified these trees through a series of surveys with beekeepers to obtain information of plant resources and conventional production systems and traditional orchards.
Furthermore he also applied a Participatory Action Research (PAR) method querying on the amount of family members, role of the family in the beekeeping industry, weed management in traditional crops, amount of beehives, crops and honey per year, with beekeeping organizations of the aforementioned municipalities
According to Muñoz among the purposes of his project was provide knowledge to beekeepers in the botanical and geographical sense so them and consumers alike may have a reference that what is sold is 100% natural honey, information which benefits both parties.
For this they need to know which melliferous (honey producing) flower plants bees are visiting to produce honey.
According to the prior they worked with the species A. mellifera because it is the most demanded by the Colombian honey producing industry and also produces propolis (blend of honey with other products such as a wax and pollen, among others.)
The next stage of the process is directed at establishing a floral calendar so each municipality can have its own calendar and known which crops bees visit most during different months of the year.
Furthermore they hope to tap into gallery forests, in other words plant native plants among riverside forests with the purpose of benefitting bees and favor honey production for the beekeepers of these municipalities of the Province of Cauca.
Agencia Noticias UNAL |