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Bees for development: Brazilian survey reveals how to optimize stingless beekeeping.

Jaffé R, Pope N, Torres Carvalho A, Madureira Maia U, Blochtein B, de Carvalho CA, Carvalho-Zilse GA, Freitas BM, Menezes C, de Fátima Ribeiro M, Venturieri GC, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products.Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators.Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de São Paulo. Rua do Matão 321, São Paulo-SP, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Stingless bees are an important asset to assure plant biodiversity in many natural ecosystems, and fulfill the growing agricultural demand for pollination. However, across developing countries stingless beekeeping remains an essentially informal activity, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack standardization. Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products. Our study represents the first large-scale effort aiming at optimizing stingless beekeeping for honey/colony production based on quantitative data. Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators. Specifically, our results highlight the importance of teaching beekeepers how to inspect and feed their colonies, how to multiply them and keep track of genetic lineages, how to harvest and preserve the honey, how to use vinegar traps to control infestation by parasitic flies, and how to add value by labeling honey containers. Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income. Our work provides clear guidelines to optimize stingless beekeeping and help transform the activity into a powerful tool for sustainable development.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Influence of the number of colonies on yearly earnings, among beekeepers that label and do not label honey containers (A), and influence of the beekeeper’s age on yearly costs, among beekeepers that feed their colonies with varying frequencies (B).Response variables are detrended to show the correct relationship between response and particular predictor variables (the effect of the other predictor variables has been subtracted out). Lines represent fitted curves.
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pone.0121157.g006: Influence of the number of colonies on yearly earnings, among beekeepers that label and do not label honey containers (A), and influence of the beekeeper’s age on yearly costs, among beekeepers that feed their colonies with varying frequencies (B).Response variables are detrended to show the correct relationship between response and particular predictor variables (the effect of the other predictor variables has been subtracted out). Lines represent fitted curves.

Mentions: Experience, technical skills related to bee management, and some property characteristics were found to be significant predictors of whether beekeepers multiply colonies, sell colonies, or sell honey (Table 1). The best models for nine different continuous indicators of productivity and income are summarized in Table 2. Regression coefficients, p-values, and confidence intervals for all models are summarized in S5 Table, while S1 and S2 Figs show the relationships between response and predictor variables respectively. Years spent keeping bees and the number of known beekeepers were the most consistently included predictors in the best models. The number of colonies sold, the liters of honey sold, and the total number of hives kept were all positively associated with years spent keeping bees (Fig 3A). The number of known beekeepers was also positively associated with the total number of colonies kept and the number of multiplied colonies per year (Fig 3B). Beekeepers feeding their colonies with sugar syrup or honey had a larger number of colonies and multiplied more colonies per year (Fig 4A), whereas beekeepers employing established honey conservation methods sold more honey and had higher yearly earnings than those storing honey in a refrigerator or simply leaving it outside (Fig 4B). Beekeepers who inspected their colonies more often and harvested honey with a syringe lost fewer colonies per year (Fig 5A and 5B). The use of vinegar to control parasitic flies was associated with a larger number of colonies (Fig 5C), and selective breeding was found to increase honey production per colony (Fig 5D). The total number of colonies kept was a key predictor of earnings. However, the relationship between earnings and the number of colonies was steeper among beekeepers labeling honey containers than among those that did not employ labels (Fig 6A). Similarly, we found that costs were explained by an interaction between the beekeeper’s age and feeding frequency, whereby the relationship between age and costs was steeper among beekeepers that did not feed their colonies very often (Fig 6B).


Bees for development: Brazilian survey reveals how to optimize stingless beekeeping.

Jaffé R, Pope N, Torres Carvalho A, Madureira Maia U, Blochtein B, de Carvalho CA, Carvalho-Zilse GA, Freitas BM, Menezes C, de Fátima Ribeiro M, Venturieri GC, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Influence of the number of colonies on yearly earnings, among beekeepers that label and do not label honey containers (A), and influence of the beekeeper’s age on yearly costs, among beekeepers that feed their colonies with varying frequencies (B).Response variables are detrended to show the correct relationship between response and particular predictor variables (the effect of the other predictor variables has been subtracted out). Lines represent fitted curves.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4380461&req=5

pone.0121157.g006: Influence of the number of colonies on yearly earnings, among beekeepers that label and do not label honey containers (A), and influence of the beekeeper’s age on yearly costs, among beekeepers that feed their colonies with varying frequencies (B).Response variables are detrended to show the correct relationship between response and particular predictor variables (the effect of the other predictor variables has been subtracted out). Lines represent fitted curves.
Mentions: Experience, technical skills related to bee management, and some property characteristics were found to be significant predictors of whether beekeepers multiply colonies, sell colonies, or sell honey (Table 1). The best models for nine different continuous indicators of productivity and income are summarized in Table 2. Regression coefficients, p-values, and confidence intervals for all models are summarized in S5 Table, while S1 and S2 Figs show the relationships between response and predictor variables respectively. Years spent keeping bees and the number of known beekeepers were the most consistently included predictors in the best models. The number of colonies sold, the liters of honey sold, and the total number of hives kept were all positively associated with years spent keeping bees (Fig 3A). The number of known beekeepers was also positively associated with the total number of colonies kept and the number of multiplied colonies per year (Fig 3B). Beekeepers feeding their colonies with sugar syrup or honey had a larger number of colonies and multiplied more colonies per year (Fig 4A), whereas beekeepers employing established honey conservation methods sold more honey and had higher yearly earnings than those storing honey in a refrigerator or simply leaving it outside (Fig 4B). Beekeepers who inspected their colonies more often and harvested honey with a syringe lost fewer colonies per year (Fig 5A and 5B). The use of vinegar to control parasitic flies was associated with a larger number of colonies (Fig 5C), and selective breeding was found to increase honey production per colony (Fig 5D). The total number of colonies kept was a key predictor of earnings. However, the relationship between earnings and the number of colonies was steeper among beekeepers labeling honey containers than among those that did not employ labels (Fig 6A). Similarly, we found that costs were explained by an interaction between the beekeeper’s age and feeding frequency, whereby the relationship between age and costs was steeper among beekeepers that did not feed their colonies very often (Fig 6B).

Bottom Line: Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products.Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators.Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de São Paulo. Rua do Matão 321, São Paulo-SP, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Stingless bees are an important asset to assure plant biodiversity in many natural ecosystems, and fulfill the growing agricultural demand for pollination. However, across developing countries stingless beekeeping remains an essentially informal activity, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack standardization. Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products. Our study represents the first large-scale effort aiming at optimizing stingless beekeeping for honey/colony production based on quantitative data. Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators. Specifically, our results highlight the importance of teaching beekeepers how to inspect and feed their colonies, how to multiply them and keep track of genetic lineages, how to harvest and preserve the honey, how to use vinegar traps to control infestation by parasitic flies, and how to add value by labeling honey containers. Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income. Our work provides clear guidelines to optimize stingless beekeeping and help transform the activity into a powerful tool for sustainable development.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus