Brazil is Seeking Fifth Gold Medal for Organic Honey
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian organic honey has already been awarded four gold medals as the Best Honey in the World.
Next September, the International Apicultural Congress (Apimondia) will again award the best of them. However, consumers of Brazilian honey are from the United States and Europe, buying ninety percent of the Brazilian production.
Export is carried out in drums. We went to see, on-site, the cultivation of bees that produce this delicacy which delights palates. Join us in this report, including a number of videos, to better grasp this wonder.
Our first stop is in the Serra Catarinense, in the height of winter, a time between harvests for honey production, since the bees are voluntarily confined in their beehives. In the city of Santa Terezinha, beekeepers’ families, Polish immigrants who came to Brazil late last century, maintain the tradition of organic honey production.
We wander into the woods to find that, in fact, it is virtually impossible to spot a plantation as far as the eye can see. With the aid of a drone, we register the region. The bees are submerged in nature. At this point, our report entered the enclosed forest. This is a reserve, owned by a local timber company, which provides small areas for the development of apiaries.
Large scale export of organic honey
After organic production by family beekeepers, the honey is packed in drums. The leader of this sector is the exporter Apis Nativa, based in Araranguá, on the southern coast of Santa Catarina. The company also conducts research, which attests to its quality and maintains it.
Father and son joined in the work for organic honey
Beekeeper Domingos Bejger, 59, and his son Gian Carlos Bejger, 25, maintain the tradition of organic honey. They do not use fertilizers and do not feed the hives. The bees search the forest for pollen to produce honey.
Organic honey is produced at the top of the mountain
In one of the most exquisite farms in the region, also in the Serra Catarinense, but towards the west, is the family of beekeeper Édi Carlos Orlaminder. The area is beautiful, and several members of the family have neighboring properties, which make up a large farm. The apiaries are within the forest reserves. The farm is located at the top of the mountain slope. Édi Carlos is an advocate of organic honey.
Wedding sealed with honey
The Orlaminder family’s story is worthy of fairy tales. His wife, Janete Ferreira Orlaminder, insists that her wedding was sealed with honey. This is because she met beekeeper Édi Carlos as a child. Their infatuation was born amidst the apiaries, and it became love and marriage.
Tradition is handed down from generation to generation. His son Gustavo, sixteen years old, helps with the work, and as a result, he has already bought a motorcycle, which he uses to create trails on the property.
Bees could become extinct
Son of Swiss, Walter Bartholet has learned organic techniques since he was a child. His father, who lives in the Taquara Verde region, in the municipality of Caçador, advocates the system. Walter went beyond and plunged into the books.
Graduated as an agricultural technician in Brazil, he pursued his studies and went to Switzerland for a master’s degree. He ended up studying agronomy. He never finished the program but spent the entire time studying bees. The brothers and other family members live in Switzerland and come to Brazil occasionally to visit their parents.
According to Walter Bartholet, if farming gets too close to the hives, there could be contamination, which could eventually result in the extinction of bees. The reason for this is that much of agriculture is contaminated.
The use of poisons, pesticides and other chemical resources lead to infections in the pollen that are passed on to bees. For now, this is not a risk in Santa Catarina. In compliance with the Forestry Code, the reserves have been maintained. The cold and hilly climate makes the State an ideal location for beekeeping and organic honey production.
Source: Rio Times Online