It is urgent to save the bees, the most effective pollinators on the planet

(Photo: Yucatan a la mano)

MEXICO CITY, (November 26, 2021).-  According to the Report of the Intergovernmental Scientific-Normative Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services of the United Nations, 40% of the world’s invertebrate pollinators are in danger of extinction; among them are some types of bees and butterflies.

Although honey-producing bees represent only about 5% of all bee species, they are among the most efficient pollinator species. In general, 90% of wild floral Phyto-species depend on animal pollination, and between 5% and 8% of world agricultural production depends on zoo pollination.

Given the relevance of the subject, it is worth highlighting the recent publication, by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (Inegi), in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, of the National Atlas of Bees and Beekeeping Derivatives, in which the information available on this matter in our country is compiled.

HOW MANY HIVES EXIST IN MEXICO?

According to the aforementioned Atlas, six of the nine families of bees that are classified in the world live in Mexico. It is estimated that each colony of bees can have up to 60 thousand members.

Their relevance in the world is such that, if they disappear as pollinators, 35% of world food production would be compromised. Likewise, in Mexico, bee production increasingly has a pollination-oriented objective rather than the traditional production of honey or wax.

Therefore, in Mexican states such as Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Coahuila, beehive production is predominantly directed at pollination, displacing honey production to second place. At the national level, in 2008 at least 135 thousand 586 hives were counted for the pollination of products such as cucumber, melon, watermelon, pumpkin, safflower, apple, strawberry, vegetables, citrus fruits, and avocado.

Historically, the Atlas record that is discussed estimates that in 1961 there were 1.98 million hives in Mexico, reaching a record number in 1983, with 2.69 million, the year from which a decline in their production and maintenance began. with relevant recoveries in 2015, with 2,017 million hives, and in 2018, when the highest figure in 23 years was reached, reaching the figure of 2.17 million hives.

THE STATES WITH THE HIGHEST PRODUCTION OF HONEY

According to official data, the states that produced the highest number of tons of honey from 2015 to 2019 (the last years for which data are available) are Yucatán, with an accumulated in the period of 45,127 tons; Campeche, with 32,904; Jalisco, with 27,266; Chiapas, 26 thousand 791; Veracruz, 24 thousand 57; Oaxaca, 21 thousand 527; Quintana Roo, 16 thousand 391; Puebla, 12,160; Guerrero, 10,366, and Michoacán, 9,604 tons of honey in the five years considered.

THE STATES WITH THE MOST BEEKEEPERS

In Mexico, there are just over 43 thousand beekeepers, which are grouped into 508 livestock associations specialized in beekeeping, as well as another 110 livestock organizations of other types. The states where there is a greater number are Yucatán with 80 associations; Chiapas, with 65; Campeche with 56; Veracruz with 44 and the state of Hidalgo with 43. As can be seen, it is not the states with the highest production that necessarily have the largest number of beekeeping producer associations.

SAVING THE BEES IS SAVING US

According to the National Atlas of Bees and Apicultural Products, Mexico is the third world exporter of honey, only surpassed by China and Argentina. It is also interesting to note that most of the honey produced in the country is for export, since, of the 57,999 tons that are produced on average per year, around 34 thousand tons are destined for export, with a higher value to 2,500 million pesos annually. In addition to its economic value, the conservation of bees is crucial to maintain the ecological balance in Mexico, and in the world.

Source: Own elaboration based on the National Atlas of Bees and apicultural products, 2021, https://atlas-abejas.agricultura.gob.mx/cap2.html

MORE SUPPORT IS URGENT

Given the magnitude and relevance of the biodiversity that exists in our national territory, it is urgent that more resources be allocated for the conservation of bees, that those directed to the control of invasive species (such as African bees) are promoted and that a greater consumption of honey as a sweetener, in order to strengthen and strengthen the internal consumption of this product. Its derivatives also have enormously important uses, so giving priority to agriculture will always constitute a “positive sum game”.

Source: Own elaboration based on the National Atlas of Bees and apicultural products, 2021, https://atlas-abejas.agricultura.gob.mx/cap2.html

Source: Excelsior



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