Bees Rapa Nui
Free of Pathogens, a Source of Life and Love
A recent study by the Center for Beekeeping Development at the University Mayor (CeapiMayor) and the Chilean Beekeeping Corporation (Cach), with the support of the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA) discovered that the descendants of these bees are now unique in the world because they are totally free from any pathogens (bacteria, viruses, mites, fungi). This news was an incentive for a group of owners of beehives to form an Agro-apian Cooperative which they call Meri Henua (honey-earth, in the local language). After less than a year of intensive training, it can now be said that Rapa Nui has proper beekeepers. “We are 15. Unfortunately, one member pulled out because he felt that we were holding him back. He already had continental partners in Rancagua where they package and then distribute in Santiago…” comments the president, Diana Edmunds. “Our mission as a co-operative is not as much to sell as to protect our wild bees. Each one of us monitors the bees, teaches the children in the schools and promotes reforestation, both in town and out in the countryside, with nectar producing plants (sweet basil, hibiscus, strawberry, mango, passion fruit, noni, avocado, banana, thyme, clover). In addition, we have a project with CONAF (Chilean National Forestry Service) to work with the Honga’a o te Mana Secondary School. We want to make people aware that the reserve of bees on the Island is part of our heritage, almost like the Moai (statues).”
In the sand of Rapa Nui there are animals so small that they can hardly be seen with the bare eye. You need a microscope to see them. These animals live in the small spaces between sand grains.
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