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Queen bees of excellent quality for excellent honey

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Professor Harizanis trains beekeepers at the “Bee Life” Center

The Queen Bee Artificial Reproduction Center “Melissa Zoi” was created and operates in the village of Odou, on the initiative of the Bank of Cyprus and the Rotary Clubs of Cyprus. The Center supports the environmental revitalization and restoration of economic and business recovery of fire-affected honey production areas and provides resources for young people living in the area to continue working professionally in the field of honey production and other products.

Paschalis Harizanis, Emeritus Professor of the Agricultural University of Athens, recently visited Cyprus, who presented in an educational program at the Center topics related to the production of queens by artificial insemination and the importance of improved queens in honey production.

Mr. Professor, could you explain to us in simple terms what artificial insemination is and how important it is to the production of good quality honey?

Artificial insemination (AI) is an essential tool for honey bee research and genetic improvement. Advances in techniques and equipment designs combined with knowledge of bee biology have made it practical and very successful.

Excellent quality queens

How does artificial insemination help the beekeeper?

TS enables us to produce excellent quality queens with the desired characteristics of our region and ensures full control of matings. We are given the ability to make matings that cannot occur in nature. When the process is done correctly, then the improved mothers (Breeder queens) are produced which, with the queen rearing method, mass-produce excellent queens for beekeepers. We do not mass produce TS fertilized queens.

How did the introduction of foreign breeds affect the Cypriot bee?

The Cypriot bee survived in its place for thousands of years, offering its inhabitants food and pollination to preserve the ecosystem. She faced the harsh weather conditions of Cyprus, enemies and diseases successfully because she was adapted to them.

The introduction of foreign breeds of bees in Cyprus in recent years has altered the genetic material and new enemies and diseases have invaded. The purebred bee was altered which dealt with all problems with ease and had good honey yields even in traditional hives (gibertia). In modern apiaries we saw two- and three-story hives with very high honey production.

Kdisastrous consequences

What problems did the introduction of foreign breeds of bees create in Cyprus?

The introduction of foreign pathogens has disastrous consequences because in order to treat them, drugs are applied inside the beehive, resulting in the accumulation of residues in the produced honey, thus degrading its quality.

Foreign races are not adapted to the dry-thermal climate of Cyprus, they are unable to deal with the wasps as a result of which the beehives collapse and honey production is annihilated. Local bees will have both greater production and better quality with less medication.

There are voices of protest that propose a ban on imports of queen bees, protection and improvement of domestic breeds as is done in other EU member states. and take measures to protect local populations such as Austria, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and England.

The “Bee Life” Center offers a new dynamic as with artificial insemination, reproduction is accelerated, the genetic material of bees is improved and the Cypriot bee is protected. What do you think about the Centre?

A Center with the new techniques it uses such as TC, queen rearing, special beekeeping manipulations, honey analysis etc. will help to produce improved Cypriot bee queens, to distribute them to beekeepers to maintain strong beehives and adapted to the difficult weather conditions of the island. It will monitor the quality of the honey produced in order to be able to compete with foreign honeys inside and outside of Cyprus. It is a very good start and an example to follow.

Source: eurokerdos.cyprustimes.com

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