April 16, 2008

Could be commie propaganda, but beekeeping is apparently ramping up in Cuba.

Ciego de Ávila, Cuba Guarantees the Production of 5 000 Queen Bees in Genetic Center

The facility, specialized in that specimen, distinguishes all over the country for meeting all technical requirements and attaining excellent bumblebees, which translates into apiaries bearing more vitality and productivity.

Only four workers are in charge of running the facility, whose production will allow the territory to manage some 8 000 bee colonies by the end of this year, almost 2 000 more than what there is at present.

“The growth will facilitate to gather some 400 tons of honey in 2008, which element is critical for the elaboration of food, medicines and cosmetics”, as expressed by Vladimir Echemendía director of Beekeeping in the province.

You do have to wonder if given the isolation of the island (both from landmass and from imports) if the bees there are free of the diseases and problems that are destroying bees in the U.S. (*note to journalist readers: write a story about this and get a free trip to Cuba. Take me along as an expert).

The problems with bees in America all come from invasive exotic pests-- varrora mites from Asia, small hive beetles from South Africa, killer bees from Africa, and "Colony Collapse disorder" which seems to be from New Zealand bees carrying the 'Israeli Acute Paralysis virus. Could be Cuba might yet realize some benefit from its place in the world (besides not being colonized by the U.S. and/or the Cuban rightwing nuts in Miami awaiting their return.)

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