Flight of the Bumblebees

30 Jul, 2019 | Christopher Niklas Peterstam

Nature and Social issues

Photos: Christopher Niklas Peterstam 

With a worldwide decline in the bee population, Yungas beekeepers protect their hives

Outside Coroico, a small town in the centre of the sparsely populated Nor Yungas Region, a select few begin the process of tearing apart egg cartons and breaking decaying wood into small pieces. They then light the material on fire and place it into a large metal cup, known as a smoker, which apiculturists use to spray bees with smoke in order to calm them. We are here to report on a trend that has been worrying many worldwide, the disappearance of the honey bee. According to Inti Rodriguez, the lead beekeeper, egg cartons and wood have a much ‘softer’ effect on the bees than other materials. Other beekeepers use sawdust, which has a ‘spicy’ effect on the bees, causing them to be more aggressive, and some even use rubber or gasoline, which both negatively affect the bees’ health and contaminate the honey with harmful toxins and a lingering taste.

Soon after, we were ready and clad in protective clothing, carrying our smokers and taking a 20-minute trek into the bush. The path was quite steep at times and often overgrown with brush and vine. The hives were hidden away in such difficult-to-get-to areas for their own protection. This is due to a variety of factors such as fear of robbery and even ignorance about the nature of bees. Doña Julia Mamani, whom the hives belonged to, said, ‘There are also people who are bad or think they are going to die with a bee sting, and that is why they kill them. There are people who even think that bees are bad for plants.’ This misperception has led members of local communities to attempt to find and liquidate the hives, either by fumigation or brute force.

Image title

We soon made it to the final portion of the path that led to the hives. There we checked our equipment, suited up in our protective clothing and took a short rest to chew some coca leaves. During this sojourn, Rodriguez and Mamani began to speak about the challenges that bees now face. ‘In the chicken and pig farms, the use of antibiotics and hormones in these animals affects the bees when they consume water contaminated by faeces and rust that these farms discard,’ Rodriguez, said, explaining the dangers that natural resource mining poses to her trade. ‘Mercury is used to amalgamate metals and is thrown into the river, contaminating the water that is also consumed by bees to keep the hive in optimum conditions. The nectar then mixes with that water and the honey gets contaminated.’

The expansion of agricultural areas, especially coca plantations, has led to a variety of problems for the bee population, including worrying levels of deforestation. Natural areas where bees were originally able to go and harvest nectar are being converted into farms and plantations at a very rapid rate. The problem is greater when certain insects that feed on coca plants prompt the use of harmful pesticides. According to Rodriguez, ‘Some herbicides and pesticides used in this area contain glyphosate in its chemical components. In the local market it is known as “bazooka” and anyone can buy it. There is no proper control by SENASAG [the National Service of Agricultural Health and Food Safety Improvement], which is the entity responsible for regulating these substances; in Coroico it is sold in the middle of the street even though they are usually high toxicity chemicals.’

Image title

With our masks on, gloves and smokers at the ready, we made the short walk to a small ridge to find two sets of white boxes, stacked one upon the other. As the tin roof was removed from above the boxes, it was revealed that the screens used to protect the hive were too large and had allowed thousands of ants to gain entry. While the honey harvest had not been compromised, the battle that had occurred had left thousands of fallen bees under the hive. Slowly, one by one, Rodriguez and Mamani began removing each screen, examining them for the potential to harvest. The sound of buzzing bees was all around. White smoke billowed from the smoker, creating a fog of frantic bees attempting to defend their hive. The time for harvesting was not ideal. A few more weeks were needed.

This article was made possible through the non-profit organisation Corazón del Bosque. This group has made it a mission to help improve the overall environment in the Nor Yungas region through sustainable agricultural and reforestation projects in several different communities, according to coordinators Eloïse Andre and Romane Chaignau.



1035 exchange
16 Oct, 2019 | 10:43
What is going to happen next in our lives and what is our destiny, all these things are universal secrets. This is a very nice article and we are teaching weak students and they are becoming perfect writers these days. This knowledge is simply awesome and readers have enjoyed all this information so much.
Click here
09 Oct, 2019 | 07:07
The expansion of agricultural areas, especially coca plantations is very important.I am also completely agree with you.Thanks for this post.
Top quality horse mats in UK
09 Oct, 2019 | 06:03
I read this article and really enjoyed to read this article. Your style and the presentation of the post is so good.Thanks and keep it up.
Tarpaulins for sale in Houses
09 Oct, 2019 | 04:05
Your blog is really great and cool.its really great and cool.your blog is really great and cool.its really great and good.thanks for sharing the nice and good post. http://Tarpaulinsco.uk
09 Oct, 2019 | 03:51
Your blog is really great and cool.your blog is really great and cool.its really great and cool post.its really great and good.your blog is really great and good.thanks for sharing the nice and cool post. http://industrialmatsuk.co.uk
03 Oct, 2019 | 06:06
I am glad to read your blog.its really great and cool.i am glad to read your blog.your way of working is really great.its really great and cool.thanks for sharing the nice and cool post. <a href="http://tarpaulinsco.uk/">tarpaulin sheet and rolls for sale </a>
short answers questions
01 Oct, 2019 | 09:26
Hi there. If you cannot cope with all the writing tasks, don't panic. Not all people can be excellent at custom or academic writing. That is the very moment when this writing service helps students in solving all their writing problems. Visit the website and look for yourself.
Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a valuable article because it is very informative and useful for me. Thanks for nicely sharing.
education help
27 Sep, 2019 | 03:29
I read this article, This provides us much information,The writer who writes this article such an experienced person. Who explains in an informative way. If anyone needs the help about the writing, assignments visit student help site which provides much information to the students for making their tasks.
26 Sep, 2019 | 11:15
An informative site indeed this should be read by many <a href="https://random-ize.com/">https://random-ize.com/</a>
Click to get rubber matting
26 Sep, 2019 | 06:41
This article is very good article here. I read this article and really got very useful information here. Thanks and carry on sharing it.
26 Sep, 2019 | 06:38
This article is very good article here. I read this article and really got very useful information here. Thanks and carry on sharing it. <a href="http://www.rubberco.co.uk/">Click to get rubber matting</a>
26 Sep, 2019 | 06:18
Your blog is really awesome and cool post.its really cool and good.your way of working is really great and good.your blog is really awesome and cool post. <a href="http://rubberroofingco.co.uk/rubber-roofing.html">Rubber Roofing UK</a>
Amazing work you have done here. You have done really good work here. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. Carry on it.
Garage Shelving
26 Sep, 2019 | 04:25
I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks <a href="http://garageshelvinguk.uk/shelving/garage-shelving.html/">UK Garage Shelving<a>
free social media graphics
24 Sep, 2019 | 04:12
You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming.
yubi store
23 Sep, 2019 | 12:41
Thanks for your article! I have read through some similar topics! However, your post has given me a very special impression, unlike other posts. I hope you continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!<a href="https://yubi.store/shop/">yubi store</a>
cheap fifa 20 coins
19 Sep, 2019 | 15:25
To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding
Kris Thorkelson
16 Sep, 2019 | 03:58
Working for much of his career as an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, although still active in the industry, most recently, Kris Thorkelson expanded his entrepreneurial ambitions to real estate.
Swim with dolphins Kona
13 Sep, 2019 | 02:51
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information.
idle heroes best monster
03 Sep, 2019 | 23:28
This blog is very nice.I really like such a fantastic written blog.I will keep coming here again and again.Visit my link as well.
golf swing video
26 Aug, 2019 | 10:30
Thank you for sharing :) dich vu tham tu
26 Aug, 2019 | 10:29
When Brilliant Writers are there you do not have to run away from the fear of composing essay. We are there to assist you with your every essay writing need and help you buy the best services.<a href="https://www.minimalistgolfswing.com/">golf swing video</a>
This is why it is far better that you simply applicable investigating well before building. You can actually design more effective share in such a manner.
Im so happy that you're doing your best to preserve bumblebees. I once have a hive at my lawn before.
16 Aug, 2019 | 02:44
I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious...
t rex game
16 Aug, 2019 | 02:25
Thanks for your article! I have read through some similar topics! However, your post has given me a very special impression, unlike other posts. I hope you continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!
candy crush soda
15 Aug, 2019 | 05:46
This topic is very interesting and I am interested but do not know where to find, thankfully you create this topic, hope everyone will help me
14 Aug, 2019 | 21:29
The Bolivian government should support these beekeepers so that their business will thrive and increase the production of honey.
locksmith Draper UT
07 Aug, 2019 | 04:22
Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.
06 Aug, 2019 | 09:05
it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity..
assignment writing help
05 Aug, 2019 | 08:13
I have read a few articles on the different platforms about the population of honey bees that are declining in a few pas years and it is a really big issue according to the beekeepers that people have a big misperception about honeybees and should read first about this.
04 Aug, 2019 | 04:49
My wife style of bogus body art were being quite unsafe. Mother worked with gun first, after which they your lover snuck free upon an tattoo ink ink. I was sure the fact just about every should not be epidermal, due to the tattoo ink could be attracted from the entire body. make an own temporary tattoo

Make a comment