Brazilian research institutions gather together to launch a best practices manual for citrus growers and beekeepers
In order to encourage good coexistence between citrus growers and beekeepers, who keep their hives close to the groves, and minimize the risk of accidents for humans and bees as well, Brazilian research institutions gather together to organize a best practices manual with a series of information so that the farm management doesn’t affect the bee’s production.
Developed by the Citriculture Defense Fund (Fundecitrus) in partnership with São Paulo State University (Unesp), and with the support of the National Plant Protection Products Union (Sindiveg), the handbook shows examples of successful partnerships, like the beekeeper Mr. Edmundo Marchetti, who made a partnership ten years ago to allocate his hives in an orange farm, located in Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, countryside of São Paulo state. Since then, he went from 30 hives to a little over 1,000. “The farm people and I keep constant communication and we reached an agreement that, besides using products with shorter withdrawal periods not to harm the bees, the application is not made during the bloom”, he explains.
And this is a partnership that bears fruit for both parties involved because some of the contributions given by the bees are the increase of production of the orange trees up to 35%, increase by 22% of the fruit weight, and 36% increase in the number of seeds.
The manual brings information on the importance of bees to the citrus industry and vice-versa; studies about the effects of pesticides in the hives; precautions when applying agrochemicals; tips to improve the relationship and communication between citrus growers and beekeepers. For Fundecitrus researcher, Mr. Marcelo Pedreira de Miranda, one of the authors, the handbook will clarify important points in the relation between citrus growers and beekeepers. “The manual can help both sectors to act alongside, in a sustainable way and in harmony, with gains for both sides”, he says.