Fires, the main threat to hives, followed by varroa.
In the province of Loja there are more than a thousand producers who are dedicated to beekeeping; However, in 2023, forest fires were the main cause that affected entrepreneurs.
Hives must face inclement weather, whether it is a long winter or summer, forest fires, pesticides and varroa (a mite that causes diseases in bees).
Unfortunately, in 2023, the province of Loja was besieged by forest fires, which affected more than 30 producers whose beehives burned: Quilanga, Gualel (Loja), Malacatos (Loja), Yangana (Loja), Chuquiribamba (Loja) and Olmedo.
The producers, despite the inconveniences they must face each year, continue with their ventures; From the hives they obtain honey, propolium and wax, as well as byproducts such as soaps, candles, shampoo, candies, among others.
Freddy Córdova Oviedo, a resident of the Puyango canton, has been dedicated to beekeeping since 2014—as a form of income—although he has been doing this work for many years.
He pointed out that, this year, in his canton the winter was quite abundant, which was unfavorable to them because the bees stayed to winter, in that aspect, they lost several hives, in their case there were 12 out of 25; Even though they were fed, the bees fled.
He decided to continue with that work, managed to recover some and currently has 15 located in Alamor, El Limo and a sector that borders Zapotillo. He noted that the main plague is human beings themselves because they are exterminating them; The moment they find them, they burn them or spray them with poison, because they think they are going to sting the animals.
Likewise, Diario Crónica spoke with Manuel Chamba Chamba, production manager of the API-Loja company, an enterprise that was born in 1979 with a certain number of hives and after time they increased in different places in Loja and are currently in several provinces of the country.
“We work with transhumant beekeeping, which consists of moving bee hives from one place to another, in search of better food and climate conditions. In Loja, we have hives in the high parts: Zamora Huayco, Jipiro, Sañe, Virgempamba and Punzará,” he said.
He added that fires are the main enemies of the hives, since he lost around 10 when a fire broke out in Virgempamba.
On the other hand, Marco García Alberca, a beekeeper from Calvas, said that he started this work 5 years ago and currently has around 30 hives.
Fortunately, he has not lost hives to forest fires, but he acknowledged that this activity is a problem because it kills the plants that produce flowers and on which bees feed. “There are other pests such as varroa and ants that also affect; However, these can be controlled,” he pointed out. (YO)
In the province of Loja there are 2 collection centers for the processing of bee products located in Zapotillo (Garza Real) and Macará (Laguar neighborhood).
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