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Understanding the world of bees

Understanding what happens inside the hives, or why a method works today but does not work tomorrow, arouses the curiosity and self-improvement of the young Amaury Rojas Guerra, who has his queen bee farm the municipality of Niquero, in the coastline of the Cuban province of Granma.

Graduated in Physical Culture and self-taught in the world of beekeeping, he also takes care every day to understand the different variables that influence the production process, how much there is new to apply or if he is not doing something important.

As a matter of fact, the 37 year-old man, with only seven years of experience between honeys and buzzes, have such dedication to his craft that he has become the major queens producer in the area that supplies all the beekeepers in that town, after obtaining about 2,200 specimens in 12 months.

He explained that the complex and dynamic reproductive cycle, of just 28 days, demands an exquisite control, since the efficiency depends on attending well and in unison several processes, each one in different stages of development.

Moreover, the idea is to induce the hives to generate more queens than they normally produce, in such a way that around 20 and 30 fertile females per colony begin to gestate, Rojas Guerra explained.

The hive is a system, and if you alter a component everything changes, which is why there is a group of variables to handle depending on the desired results.

Rojas Guerra underlined the importance of working with certified breed in order to guarantee the genetic characteristics that are needed in beekeeping, such as meekness, productivity, rapid emergence at the beginning of harvest, adaptation to the climate and resistance to the most common diseases in the municipality.

But Amaury not only reproduces the royal breed, but also masters the secrets of a successful relationship with worker bees. In his apiary, located in Ojo de Agua area, in the fertile and beautiful surroundings of “Desembarco del Granma” national park, to date he has produced more than 9.8 tons of honey, 96 kilograms of wax and 15 of propolis.

The results attest to his willingness to always learn more, study, verify and receive feedback from dissimilar experiences, for which he has participated in workshops, conferences, meetings and other training spaces promoted by the country's Beekeeping Research Center.

Rojas Guerra is one of the 33 beekeepers that place Niquero as the largest honey producing municipality in Granma in the current harvest.