Among the Maya inheritances that Yucatan boasts is beekeeping, an activity that has been carried out since pre-Hispanic times and that currently places the State at the forefront of the industry at the national level.

(YUCATAN – INEGI), January 22, 2022.- The cultivation of bees and honey production has been transmitted from parent to child for generations in numerous municipalities of the State. That is the case of Raúl Oxté, who has been dedicated to this activity since he was a boy. “I have been working on this since I was 12 years old with my dad. Now I am 45, so you can see how long I have been doing this work,” said the Hunucmá native.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), there are some 13,000 beekeepers and more than 350,000 beehives in the state, and most of the small producers are farmers who own less than 50 beehives on common land.

Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Inegi presented the National Atlas of Bees and Beekeeping Derivatives, which compiles data on breeding, government support and production volume, among others, with detailed statistics from 2013 to 2019.

In that period, it became clear that Yucatan is the main producer of honey in the country. In 2019, it ranked first nationwide with a production of 11,589 tons, with a production value of 444 million pesos, according to the Agrifood and Fisheries Information System (SIAP).

However, with the arrival of the pandemic, beekeepers have faced difficult conditions to achieve the annual goal, while international markets and local businesses have been closed.

As if that were not enough, the heavy rains recorded in 2020 affected the hives, especially Tropical Storm Cristóbal.

With so many losses due to this natural disaster, the State Government, through the Rural Development Secretariat (Seder), has distributed more than 18,000 bees to hundreds of beekeepers in the State to continue guaranteeing the quality and supply of honey. .

Each one was given seven packages of queen bees, which also contain nine nurse bees. Oxté was one of them.

Fortunately, the Entity started the 2021-2022 honey production cycle well: with 906 tons, in November; according to official statistics, it is the most for the 11th month in the last nine years.

This good harvest boosted the production of honey in Mexico also to a historic level because the national accumulated of 12 thousand 69 tons, in the same period, had not been seen in 20 years.

The Yucatan Times
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