Meliponicultura Congress participants visit at Amazomel
Ten years ago, the NTFP Foundation first became involved with stingless beekeeping. These native bees of the genus Melipona are responsible for over 90% of pollination in the Amazon and thus play a central role in preserving the rainforest. Beekeeping began in the remote Amazon village of Caicubi, where we researched methods with the local population to make it as efficient as possible. We were also supported by the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA).
It took us about three years to extend our pilot project to other regions. Since then, Meliponicultura has become increasingly popular.
During the Corona pandemic, Meliponicultura gained even more importance, as Brazilians primarily use honey as a remedy against influenza. This even caused the purchase price to double.
A highlight of this Meliponicultura movement took place at the end of September at the University of Amazonas in X, where over a thousand visitors from all over Brazil attended a three-day conference. We had the opportunity to present the NTFP Foundation as well as the Amazomel company and gave lectures on various topics. Afterwards we received numerous interested people on our Amazomel premises.
In addition to the growing interest of the local population and various institutions, we can also register an increased commitment of the communities.
First and foremost is the municipality of Boa Vista dos Ramos, which has literally taken up the cause of bees and hired a team of Meliponicultura specialists. They are responsible for the training and coordination of local beekeepers. Also in Urucara, the municipality hired our local person in charge. In this way, we can operate very efficiently on the ground and count on the logistical support of the communities.
In addition, in Urucara, several cattle farmers have become aware of the bees. They now hire our man on the ground and invest large amounts in beekeeping. One of the Fazenderos has already acquired 200 bee colonies (one colony costs about 70 CHF).