Citriculture and beekeeping can coexist harmoniously and still profit. According to data from Fundecitrus, pollination by bees contributes with an increase of up to 35% in orange production, 22% increase in fruit weight, 33% increase in the amount of juice (without change in solids) and 36% increase in the number of seeds. The partnership of more than 20 years between the citrus grower Mr. José Mario Gasolla and the beekeeper Mr. Alberto Luis da Silva proves this.
According to the farmer, with the arrival of the bees there was an increase of pollination, which helps in the development of the fruits. For him, it is clear that the activities of bees in the grove provide increased productivity, fruit size and amount of juice. The beekeeper is also satisfied with the partnership. In 2016, the production was 50 pounds of honey per hive, on average. This year, according to him, the quality of honey increased because of the bloom and the sales had a better price.
The orange blossom honey pleases consumers because of the slow crystallization and lighter color, different from other types of honey. To avoid harming the production of bees, the orange farm uses selective insecticides that are not toxic to bees, the location of the apiary was also chosen strategically between a grove and a pond, and care is taken not to go with the tractors near where they are. On the other hand, the beekeeper takes important precautions to avoid the risk of accidents, such as choosing the time with less workers in the grove to work with the bees, and when he has a large amount of insects, he uses the gate that does not go through the main building to avoid the presence of animals and children.