Queen bees are delivered to village cultivators after a storm wiped away half the bee population. Photo: Courtesy

Beekeepers in Yucatan, whose livelihood was decimated by drought, and then Tropical Storm Cristobal, were given 500 queen bees to restart honey production.

The state’s support will allow local Maya producers to continue cultivating bees they managed to save from the storm and floods, said José Ramón Glory Morales, who is in charge of the Queen Bee Production Centers run by the Ministry of Rural Development (Seder).

The Lepán comisaría in the municipality of Tecoh, where floods forced several households to evacuate, was the first to be handed the queens necessary for a functioning hive. Izamal, Cuzamá, Halachó and comisarías in Mérida will be visited in the coming days, Seder said.

The bees are certified high in genetic quality are not aggressive. Each queen is accompanied by nine “wet nurses,” which assist in expanding the bee population.

Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal established a Queen Bee Production Center in 2019 for just such an emergency. Bees were imported from Italy as a backup to ensure Yucatan’s famed honey production industry. Exports return to Europe, particularly Germany, which has been a reliable consumer of the region’s organic honey.

Weeks ago, 400 queen bees were distributed to producers in Kanasín, Umán, Cansahcab, Cenotillo and Espita.

Beekeepers interested in receiving support can call the Ministry of Rural Development at 999-930-3830, extension 60126.