Africanized Honey Bees in Brazil
Africanized Honey Bees in México
Varroa in South America
American Foulbrood in Argentina:
Tracheal MItes and Chalkbrood:
Nectariferous Plants in Uruguay:
World Honey Trade:
Colony Mangement–Feeding Syrups:
Focus on Apiculture in Cuba and Mexico:
Fall approaches winter in the southern hemisphere country of Uruguay at the end of May. We stood around a crackling blaze telling honey bee stories, just as might happen in Florida in late November. Though not cold by temperate terms, the fire took the chill off the air in the unheated Club Remero (rowing club), a stone edifice steeped in history on the bank of the Río Negro, tributary to the mighty Río de la Plata.Within a radius of 60 miles, half the country’s yearly honey production, or some 7 million pounds, is produced, according to the local regional magazine, Perfil (Vol. 1. No.1), May 1996, p. 13 A beekeeping meeting of this importance could easily have been held in Uruguay’s most prestigous venue, Punta Del Este, the magazine concluded, but it was most fitting that it occur in the country’s honey capital and near its southern neighbor, one of the world’s largest exporting countries. Thus, Mercedes, in Soriano Province, some 20 miles from the Argentine border, was the obvious place to hold the Fifth Ibero-Latin American Apicultural Congress.
The beekeeping industry in this part of the world appears to be vibrant and full of vigor, attested to by the quality and quantity of activity during the three-day affair. High honey prices were on everyone’s mind as elsewhere in the world. And in spite of the “good news” concerning Africanized bees being resistant to Varroa, many people continue using European and hybrid honey bees that are found to be more productive. Thus, most of the same issues addressed at other beekeepers’ meetings around the globe were also discussed and debated in Mercedes.Uruguay is not as well known as it larger neighbors, Argentina and Brazil, but it has all the characteristics of the eastern coastal region of southern South America.
This is cattle and guacho country, legendary for yerba maté and tango. Cowboys and beekeepers alike carry around leather cases containing a maté, or cup, and a thermos full of hot water, used to replenish the green infusion as it is sucked through a silver straw. Known also as Paraguay or Brazilian tea, the drink is brewed from the dried leaves of the perennial tree, Ilex paraguarensis. Partaking of maté is also a social tradition. as the cup is routinely passed around during gatherings sad and sultry tango strains, born in the barrios of Buenos Aires, filled the air at breakfast time in the small, but extremely clean Hotel Colón in Mercedes where most of the speakers were housed. Perhaps the finest interpreter of this music was Carlos Gardel, who many believe was Uruguayan.
This part of South America orients east, not north as do other areas of the continent. Uruguay has no indigenous population left and is now made up mostly of persons of European descent. Montevideo, the capital, has a continental flavor and architecture. Thus, the congress featured visitors from Spain, Germany and France, as well as the rest of Latin America. Significantly, only three persons from the United States were present. Myself from Florida and Dr. David DeJong, now on the faculty of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto campus, were physically on site.The third U.S. citizen was “virtually” there. For the first time in the history of Uruguay, a live teleconference enabled participants at a major conference to ask questions at a distance. In this case, the featured speaker was Dr. Roger Morse of Cornell University at Ithaca, New York.About 600 persons attended the congress, which included a sizeable display area and three days of papers, symposia and posters. It was billed by the coordinator and indefatigable organizer, Juan C. Martinez D’Amato, as “54 hours of knowledge.” The printed proceedings contain 234 pages, including the text of 28 invited papers and abstracts of presentations in five special commissions: bee pathology, bee breeding, equipment and management, nectariferous plants and pollination, and apitherapy. In addition, there were two round table discussions at the congress, one on Varroa and another on the current state of beekeeping associations and organizations.
The inaugural address was by Dr. Lionel Gonçalves, Faculty of Letters and Arts and Sciences, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. It was entitled “Africanized Honey Bees–A Plague or Benefit for Brazilian Apiculture?” Dr. Gonçalves described his talk as a polemical look at a most controversial insect. Beekeeping was very much a languishing industry in the 1950s in Brazil, Dr Gonçalves said. He described it as based on “non-productive” European bees and a minimum amount of producer investment in either funds or training. This set the stage for the introduction of “more productive” bees from tropical Africa. Unfortunately, arrival of the African bee, Apis mellifera adansonii, later called Apis mellifera scutellata, in 1956 had an initial negative impact. The insects escaped into the wild, producing the race now known as the Africanized honey bee, known for its defensive behavior. Most beekeepers went out of business and abandoned their bees. This was the period when the insects were called “assassins” by the press, and this honey bee was declared a plague on the landscape, giving a bad image to the country by being featured in horror films.
Brazilian honey production then amounted to only five thousand tons per year. Most producers did not use modern equipment, had little training and the bees themselves were not productive.Recent information, however, according to Dr. Gonçalves, shows Brazilian honey production at forty thousand tons per year, just behind Argentina, the world’s fourth largest honey producer. Experiments in Brazil have now shown that Africanized bees can be good honey producers; selected colonies have produced more than 63.2 kilograms (about 138 lbs) per year, and there is unprecedented activity in beekeeping and associated enterprises.Thus, Brazilian beekeeping has two phases. The first, from 1800 until 1956, when beekeeping was characterized as a hobby and extremely underdeveloped. The second, after arrival of the Africanized honey bee, however, changed beekeeping into a modern agricultural activity, full of dynamism and promise. Now Brazil may be on the verge of assuming another important role in world beekeeping. A plague of enormous proportions has descended on beekeeping with the introduction of the Varroa bee mite around the globe. The Africanized honey bee of Brazil, however, appears to resist the mite. Although present, Varroa does not kill the colony as it does elsewhere and chemical treatment in most areas is not necessary. Brazil, therefore, might become a source of genetic material which might be incorporated into the rest of the world’s honey bees to help resist Varroa. Beyond this, however, is the fact that because there has been no chemical treatment of honey bees in Brazil, it may become the only Varroa-infested country where certifiably uncontaminated bee products can be found. These facts alone, concluded Dr. Gonçalves, are enough to consider the Africanized honey bee an unqualified benefit for the world’s fifth largest country.
A different look at the Africanization of the honey bee was given by Dr. Ernesto Guzmán of México. The process so far has had an undeniably negative impact on the country; honey production and exportation has dropped by 14 percent and 29 percent respectively. Yucatán state was particularly hard hit with a drop from 15 thousand tons in 1985 to a present six. Africanization has also resulted in an increase in the number of human and animal deaths. Whereas only five humans died from bee stings in 1988, the number peaked at 66 in 1993 and was 47 and 30 for 1994 and 1995 respectively. Africanized bees have also increased production costs by 30 to 50 percent, hurting the large number of small producers in the country.In spite of all the difficulties, there are alternatives to Africanization that Dr. Guzmán and colleagues are pursuing. These measures employ modern bee breeding using instrumental insemination. The results have been encouraging, showing up to a 50 percent reduction in defensiveness. At the same time, these populations have produced up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) whereas those of Africanized bees have averaged 20 kilograms (44 pounds).
The reality of apiculture in México and Central America, Dr. Guzmán concluded, is that it is much more expensive than in the past with arrival of Africanized bees. In addition, the introduction of Varroa has also stressed the beekeeping industry, for most bees in Mexico appear to be susceptible to this parasite. New practices are evolving, however, providing some buffer to increased costs. The increased world price of honey will continue to be key as well.In summary, it appears that Africanized bees are still making their presence known with different consequences throughout the Americas. Brazil, however, continues to be the only country that now considers them an unqualified asset.
Varroa seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Congress. This part of South America is a transition zone between Africanized bees which predominate in the north (Brazil) and European bees found further south (Argentina). Many beekeepers in the area are not using Africanized stock even in the Africanized zone, but prefer European bees in spite of their susceptability to mites. Although Africanized bees are reportedly resistant to Varroa, the mechanism as to how this happens is not yet clear.
Dr. Peter Rosenkranz, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany discussed some of the factors involved, including hygienic behavior, mite reproduction rates and the dynamics of the bee/mite populations in a colony. He also brought further news of another consequence of widespread fluvalinate use in Europe, contamination of the continental beeswax supply through bioaccumulation. With reference to hygienic behavior, Dr. Rosenkanz and colleagues concluded that: (1) the percentage of damaged mites (thought to be done by worker bees) found in a colony does not appear to have any relation to a colony’s tolerance of Varroa, and (2) many mites that are characterized as damaged by bees could be the result of other conditions within the hive or production of unfit mites that simply do not survive.
In all proven cases of Varroa resistance, the populations and reproductive rates of female mites in brood are low, according to Dr. Rosenkranz. Over a ten-year period, the reproductive rate of mites in colonies of Africanized bees have been much lower than in European (Carniolan) bees in Germany. This fact may be the most important in determining tolerance of honey bee populations. Experiments show further that mites which feed on well-fed drones are three times more reproductive than those feeding on workers. Thus, the nutritional status of the host appears to determine the reproductive ability of the mite. Finally, the ebb and flow of the honey bee colony host population greatly influences the eventual Varroa population. This is the result of a combination of both the internal reproductive rate of the bee colony, the weather and other factors. The fact remains, Dr. Rosenkranz concluded, that few good field tests exist to determine the resistance of any bee colony to Varroa. Until such an instrument is developed, much more biological study is needed to fully understand this unique host-parasite relationship.
Dr. David DeJong and his students reported on the results of their studies showing that in much of Brazil, Africanized bees tolerate a low level of Varroa parasitization and no treatment is necessary. Their results indicate that development of resistant bees is possible. They also reported on the positions of adult mites on adult bees throughout the year and the number of damaged mites found in both Africanized and European bee colonies. Dr. Geraldo Moretto and colleagues also reported on experiments showing that more hygienic bees had lower levels of Varroa. They also corroborated Dr. DeJong’s results in describing the present situation in Brazil, the presence of many tolerant colonies two decades after Varroa was introduced from Paraguay in 1978. The resistance to Varroa they theorize comes from the same sources as noted by Dr. Rosenkranz.
In spite of the seemingly “good” news from Brazil about Varroa tolerance, papers at the Congress suggested different scenarios in other countries. Many beekeepers in the host country, Uruguay, for example, prefer the European bee. A study by Juan Campá, University of Montevideo, showed a seasonal fluctuation in Varroa populations; larger in the warmer months. The possible use of acaricides as a possible control mechanism has been eagerly seized on by many beekeepers in the country.In nearby Paraguay, the situation is somewhat similar to Uruguay. Ing. Marion Quiñones and colleagues reported that even though the Varroa infestation appears stable in Africanized bees and no treatment is required, the continued use of European bees for royal jelly production has created much interest in controlling this parasite. The use of acaricides has brought the infestation levels in European bees down significantly in Paraguay. Apistan® was found to be superior to oxalic acid in this respect, and in 1992 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) provided funds for a Varroa control project in the country. This included: (1) implementing a control procedure proven effective in other areas, (2) investigating the level of infestation in the country in general, and (3) training at various levels to ensure the program’s success. The program was recently evaluated and the following results were found:
1. The Varroa infestation level was 13.3 percent in adult bees and 3.5 percent in brood. There were, nevertheless, some levels that were very high.
2. The use of Apistan® /Bayverol® was recommended; there are strict regulations about the use of these materials to prevent product and environmental contamination.
3. The educational program was targeting all beekeepers, but particularly those using European honey bees for royal jelly production.Argentina also has Varroa problems, at least enough to warrant research in several areas.
One ongoing study by Dr. M. Eguaras and colleagues, National University of Mar del Plata, is attempting to collect information on Varroa population growth in colonies throughout the year. Dr. M. Labattaglia and colleagues from the same institution are looking at the role hygienic behavior plays in reducing Varroa in bee colonies. The results show great variability among populations with some bees able to remove 80% parasitized larvae, while others only reach the 10 percent level. The success of those with an 80 percent removal can be seen in a superior survival rate. This characteristic, the authors concluded, could lead to populations able to reduce the Varroa load to reasonable levels without the use of acaricides. Finally, J. Marcangeli and colleagues reported on a study confirming the effect of density dependency on Varroa mite populations in honey bee colonies. The number of daughter mites developing is reduced from 2.7 to 1.6 and 1.3 to 0.95 in drone and worker cells with 1 and 6 mites already present respectively. This alone, however, is not enough to the warrant total elimination of chemical treatment in colonies
The situation in Chile is different according to Dr. Serio Campano, Chilean Department of Agriculture. No bees of African descent exist in that country. Varroa was first discovered in 1992. Subsequent to detection, an educational program was put into place and various chemicals imported for treatment, including Apitol® , Perizin® and Bayverol®. Since introduction, a 30 percent loss in colonies has resulted, although there has been little decrease in honey production. Chile also has a huge demand for colonies to pollinate the fruits and vegetables the country is known for around the world. Due to lower costs, beekeepers are using wooden strips soaked in Maverik® , something the Secretary of Agriculture does not recommend, because Chilean honey exported to Germany has been found to have residues of fluvalinate over the tolerance limit. In spite of this, the use of wooden strips has become the defacto treatment, described by Dr.Campano, as “indisriminant use” in his presentation.
To summarize, the Varroa situation is not under natural control in most of the countries south of Brazil, presumably due to the use of predominantly European honey bees. At the same time, similar problems evidenced in other parts of the world are seen, including high colony mortality and widespread use of pesticides with concomitant possibilities of product contamination and mite resistance. The one hope on the horizon for developing mite tolerance appears to be the response to the parasite by the Africanized honey bee in Brazil. Elsewere, however, (Colombia, Central America, México and U.S.) this defensive, migratory insect seems more susceptible to Varroa. Meanwhile, no biological control exists and there are few specific good tests that reveal when or if mites are becoming resistant to the pesticides now being used to reduce their populations inside living bee colonies.
Argentina continues to be plagued by an old beekeeping problem, American foulbrood. The present situation was described by Lic. Marcelo del Hoyo, Veterinary Faculty, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He said the country has gone through three stages since 1989 when the disease appeared. The first step was one of denial when the name American foulbrood was not uttered. When finally recognized in affected areas, beekeepers tried to combat the problem, but it was still ignored elsewhere in the country. The final stage is now present, a mature condition exists where most good apiculturists have had the disease and have at least temporarily treated the problem.American foulbrood has literally changed the face of beekeeping in Argentina, and there continues to be recognition of the problem by authorities and an educational program in place about what to do if hives become infested.
An example of these efforts was the 1994 American foulbrood workshop held in Tandil, Argentina, attended by some 350 beekeepers and a complement of researchers and educators from all over South America. Lic. de Hoyo listed a number of ways beekeepers attempt to control AFB. Burning is still the most effective method, but due to its cost, only a few beekeepers have used this. Other methodologies have now been implemented that are less expensive, but all must be based on one thing, routine inspection for disease. (a 90-day interval at the least is recommended). These must be done even in winter, as one abandoned diseased colony can undermine a control program that has taken years to implement. The list of controls includes: burning colonies, using packages to move bees off contaminated hives, making splits into clean equipment, chemotherapy and various sanitation procedures (dipping in hot wax and lye solution and scorching supers).
Argentina is perhaps unique in the world because fairly large-scale resistance to antibiotics by American foulbrood has appeared. Resistance of Paenibacillus larvae to oxytetracycline in Argentina was confirmed in a study reported in Mercedes by A. Alippi and M. Aguilar.who used biochemical techniques to analyze DNA (PCR). Resistance was found in only 28 percent of samples, but in 58 percent of tested locations in the country. This supports the theory, according to the authors, that beekeepers used antibiotics as an alternative to burning colonies in many cases. This behavior, along with inadequate doses used as a preventative, and use of a wide range of products of dubious origin and quality appear to have favored the appearance of resistant bacteria. Using DNA fingerprints, the authors found prominent genotypes of bacteria that corresponded to resistance, suggesting a common focus may have been responsible.Another study by A. Alippi and colleagues compared the effectiveness of various antibiotic formulations. These included three principle materials: tylosine, Tylan® , Elanco labs; erythromycin, Abbot labs; and oxytetracycline, Sigma® and Terramycin® , Pfizer labs. The materials were tested for toxicity to adults, abatement of symptoms in the field and residuals in honey. The authors concluded that tylosine appears to be the best material that effectively controls American foulbrood, is not toxic to bees and degrades in honey in about 60 days, an acceptable limit.
The incidences of two other diseases were described at the congress. The presence of Acarapis woodi (tracheal mite) was described in Argentina by M. Eguaras and colleagues (National University Mar de la Plata). This parasite was first found in 1944, but little work has been done on either its presence or damage. The investigators used ten colonies to determine the mite load using intensive dissection of all tracheae. Most mites were found in winter, with a maximum infestation rate of four percent recorded.
E. Corbella (National Animal Science Institute, Uruguay) determined the incidence of chalkbrood in his country. A variance from 5 to 70 percent of infested brood was found in colonies examined. Some perforated cappings with mummies were seen, considered a sign that worker bees had identified the problem, but did little to clean it up. There appeared to be no relationship between Varroa incidence and that of chalkbrood. Comb renovation did not appear to affect the rate of disease and it was also seen in comb that was recently being constructed.
Uruguay, like other areas of the earth, has been highly affected by humanity. The introduction of both honey bees and the plants they forage on has occurred in much of the country. Licenciado Gloria Daners, University of Montevideo, has characterized much of the honey flora in the country using pollen analysis. She listed the following vegetational associations and their principal plants:
1. Artificially planted pastures– Birdsfoot trefoil is a major producer here as are the clovers Trifolium repens and T. Pratense. These are also the primary sources for monofloral honeys.
2. Artificial forests– Introduced Eucalyptus species predominate here. They are abundant producers of both nectar and pollen. Species of Acacia, imported from Australia, are also present.
3. Cultivated plants– These include citrus, sunflower and others.
4. Palms– Found in certain areas which can produce monofloral honey on occasion.
5. Natural forests– The natural vegetation of this region, called the “pampa” is grassy steppe. It contains a huge number of plants that bees can use.Lic. Daners concluded that most native Uruguayan habitats are not effectively used by beekeepers at present who prefer cultivated environments. There exists, she concluded, opportunity to more fully exploit these areas, in some cases producing quality, unifloral source honeys available nowhere else in the world.
Licenciado Marina Basualdo, Veterinary Faculty, Central National University of Buenos Aires Province, discussed the pollination of both Apis and non Apis bees in Argentina. The use of Megachile rotundata to pollinate alfalfa for seed is on the increase, but Apis bees are used exclusively on other crops. Research in Argentina in alfalfa fields shows that pollen collectors are more important than nectar collectors in the pollination process. A colony of five brood frames, with little honey, produced 16 pollen collectors/minute, whereas one with ten frames of brood and two supers of honey produced 7.3 pollen collectors/minute. Other quoted research in Pakistan recommends limiting the number of frames of honey to one or two to produce more pollen collection and in the United States that young colonies produce more pollen collectors than mature colonies. Finally, with reference to placement in the field, Lic. Basualdo concluded that colonies should be grouped in batches of five and brought into the fiels when flowering is at 10 to 15 percent to avert bees being lured to competing blooms.M. González of Costa Rica discussed work on melon pollination in his country. The size of the colony, according to Mr. González is all important. The larger the number of bees, the more pollen is collected. In Costa Rica, a standard pollinating unit is five frames of bees; a frame is counted if 80 percent is covered with four to five bees per square inch. A laying queen and brood on both sides of at least three frames covering at least 75 percent of it are required, but he recommends at least eight frames. The question concerning the number of colonies per unit area to adequately pollinate a crop of melons remains questionable, Mr. González concluded, due to the large number of variables that must be taken into consideration. Other reports included studies of honey bee pollination of apples (Uruguay) sunflower (Uruguay) and pear (Brazil)
World trade in honey is a product of demand versus production potential, according to Ingeniero Justo Peris Martinez, National Coordinator of Apiculture Products Exports, Director General of Export Commerce, Valencia, Spain. The number of hives in use at any one time multiplied by the average production determine world capacity. The former is a function of both modern movable-frame hives and rustics, many of which still predominate in Africa. The lack of statistics is a reality that must be acknowledged, but he estimates that the world produces some 1.2 million tons of honey. One-quarter of this production is American (North, Central and South America), another quarter is Asiatic, a third is European, including the ex USSR, and the final sixth is African. Aside from Africa, the total number of colonies he estimated at 50 million with a average production of 20 Kg (44 pounds).
Of total honey production, perhaps 25 percent or 280,000 tons enters the export trade.The world’s largest exporters of honey, according to Ing. Peris, are: North America (U.S., Canada and México) with 40 to 50 thousand tons, Central America (Cuba) with 15 thousand tons, South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile) with 65 to 70 thousand tons, Asia (principally China) with 90 thousand tons, Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) with 15 thousand tons and Europe (less the USSR with 65 thousand tons. The largest imorters are the European Union (130-150 thousand tons), U.S.A. (50 thousand tons) and Japan (40 thousand tons).
The world price of honey does not necessarily reflect only demand and capacity, however. As an example, Ing. Peris discussed the recent Federal Trade Commission decision concerning Chinese honey dumping in the U.S. Partly because of this, the price has doubled since the last Ibero-Latin American Apicultural Congress was held two years ago in Brazil. Although honey has a good image and is associated with noble ideas or principles, its consumption does not often reflect this fact. Therefore, the future of world price in the long run must be based on raising world consumption. Argentina as an example with seven million homes consuming only ten Kg (25 lbs) per year , two pounds per month, would not be able to export any of its honey production.
The Mexican honey trade was described by Lic. Enrique Carillo of Rucker de México, S.A. In 1992, 2.5 million colonies were operated by about 42,000 beekeepers in five apicultural regions. Some 70 percent of colonies are operated by small beekeepers, averaging 50 colonies. These have changed with the arrival of both Varroa and the Africanized bee, causing reductions.of some 30 percent by 1995.Other honey marketing issues were discussed at the Congress. In Uruguay, D. Bazurro and colleagues (Agronomy Faculty, Probides, Montevideo) revealed evidence of possible unifloral source honey being obtained from palms (Butia capitata). G. Daniers and P. Campá also suggested the same for Scutia buxifolia and B. Baldi and colleagues (National University of Entre Rios) for Lotus corniculatus in Argentina. Extremaduran honeys from Spain were characterized by S. Riolobos of that Spanish province.The concept of combining the bee product marketing efforts of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina into a common market (Mercosul) was explored (Eng P. Gustavo- Brazilian CBA). Other areas reported on included HMF and Diastase levels in honey (Brazil), susceptibility to crystallization based on honey analysis and botanical origin(Argentina), control of critical points and risk analysis in honey (Argentina), and pollen collection in Extremadura (Spain).
D. Bazzurro and colleagues reported on use of fructose corn syrups in supplemental feeding. All syrups tested (Fructodex 42 and 55, and Fructocode 2000) were found to be acceptable to colonies and produced no harmful effects. The authors also discussed the ever-present danger of these kinds of syrups resulting in adulterated honey. An in-depth analysis of honey bee pollination on red clover reported by E. Corbella and colleagues (National Agricultural Research Institute, Uruguay) that adequate pollination is possible given the right conditions. Honey bees were found to visit red clover almost exclusively for pollen.
No Congress of this nature would be complete without some interchange of apicultural characteristics in other countries. Those primarily described in Mercedes were Cuba and Mexico. Ingeniero Agronomo Ninger Cabrera described in some detail the history of Cuban apiculure from its beginnings in 1763, when a black honey bee was introduced from northern Europe. By the 1900s, there had been a mixture of bees introduced which produced the current insect, the creole bee of Cuba. By 1946 there were 10,300 producers with some 215,000 colonies. Many beekeepers abandoned the craft in the late 1950s during the beginnings of the revolution. The Cuban state, however, recognizing the importance of the activity, resurrected apiculture in the 1960s as a state enterprise. This sector produced 70 percent of Cuban honey by 1972.The structure of Cuban apiculture changed radically in 1977, with formation of the National Apiculture Group. In addition to nationalizing beekeeping, a state-sponsored research station was set up. Cuba’s best honey year was 1983 when state enterprises averaged 63.0 kg per colony. Production dropped after the wall of Ëastern Europe came down and the country was left on its own. Today, however, Ing. Ninger concluded, the country has a dynamic, modern apiculture thanks to the help of many world nations.
Sr. Antonio Alfaro, current president of the Mexican National Beekeeping Association, mirrored the presentations by Dr. Guzmán and Lic. Carrillo. The future of Mexican apiculture, Mr. Alfaro concluded, in spite of both Africanized bees and Varroa, is bright with participation of the national government that is directly involved with beekeeping associations in helping beekeepers become better trained and financed. Sr. Enrique Estrada, one of México’s largest queen producers, also presented information on his efforts to raise large quantities of quality queens near Cuernavaca. México was perhaps the best represented country at the congress. This presence resulted in the successful invitation by that country to hold the next congress in Mérida, Yucatán, two years hence.
Post Script: Much has changed since this congress, but many of the problems are in scope rather than character. Varroa in particular has shifted from looking at the mite as a parasite only, to a formidable viral vector.