Paraná, March 14, 2018 – Klabin’s Beekeeping and Meliponiculture Program has recently expanded its activities to the cities of Otacílio Costa, Santa Catarina, and Angatuba, São Paulo, where the company already has forest and industrial operations. With this expansion, the program now includes 49 beekeepers and 78 apiaries, with another 24 partners expected to be added from the two new cities by the end of 2018, to reach more than 100 apiaries, spread over forests in 12 cities in the states of Paraná, São Paulo and Santa Catarina.
For 80 million years bees have been performing the crucial task of pollinating plants and are thus considered the most efficient animals to transport pollen from one flower to another. One such example is the melipona bee that is native to Brazil, which is responsible for 40% to 90% of the pollination of our native forests. Due to environmental changes caused by the actions of human beings, bees in general run the risk of extinction and, without them, honey and more than 80% of the food consumed by human beings today will cease to exist.
To give the program a boost and show its importance for preserving the environment, Klabin annually holds training programs for partner beekeepers, which include theory and practical classes focused on improving yield and quality of honey. “The courses address techniques on good management of apiaries and improve quality and productivity levels, which ensures income growth for beekeepers,” explained Luiz Vicente Miranda, coordinator of Klabin’s Beekeeping and Meliponiculture Program. In the last training program, held last year at the Apiary School situated at the Monte Alegre Unit in Telêmaco Borba, Paraná, beekeepers learned about the process – from the development of larvae to the birth of bees and also the behavior of queen bees.
Launched in 2005, Klabin’s Beekeeping and Meliponiculture Program is conducted in partnership with Beekeeper Associations in the participating cities and aims to make full use of the potential offered by forests for non-wood products, driving the development of production chains that bring benefits both to the environment and to the communities surrounding the Company’s operations. “Rational beekeeping is considered as one of the principal alternatives for small and medium-sized producers as it is an excellent source of food, enables rapid growth in household income, improves crop yield and offers tremendous potential for integration with forest activities,” highlighted Miranda.
The program ended 2017 with record production of 40 tons of honey, nearly half of which were produced by the 13 partners located in Ortigueira. In 2018, honey production is expected to grow 8% in all cities. Since its launch, the program has produced and sold approximately 143 tons of honey.