STUDY CASE 03
Evaluation of the introduction of new management systems to Melipona fasciculata (Apidae: Meliponina), with small farmers in Bragança, Pará State, Brazil.
Cristino Venturieri (1)
Amazônia Oriental, C. Postal 48, Belém-PA, Brasil, CEP: 66.017-970;
Pesquisador, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meliponiculture, the name given to stingless bee beekeeping, is a practical example of the concept of diversification as a component of sustainable use in Amazonia. It is an activity that can be integrated into forestry, fruit crop plantation and short cycle cultivar. Through pollination, it can contribute to increased agricultural production and regeneration of natural vegetation. The objective of this work was to evaluate the introduction of beekeeping techniques for the management of the bee known as "uruçu-cinzenta" (Melipona fasciculata) to traditional beekeepers in Bragança, in the state of Pará, Brazil. From June to December of 2002, using participative methods, 30 simple wooden bee boxes, each housing a colony of bees, were replaced by boxes designed to improve colony multiplication and increase honey production. Traditional methods were described, evaluated and compared with the new method. Results demonstrated the new system to be efficient and economically viable, producing honey under more hygienic conditions and increasing honey harvests, as well as providing greater crop yields. The blooming period coincides with the dry period, which, in this area, ranges from June to December. However, honey production was highest between August and November. The principal botanical species in the constitution of the honeys include cashew (Anacardium occidentale - Anacardiaceae), cashew-açu (A. giganteum - Anacardiaceae), mangrove-siriuba (Avicennia nitida - Avicenniaceae), sapateira (Miconia minutiflora - Melastomataceae) and lacre (Vismia guianensis - Clusiaceae). The adopted method was well accepted, piquing the interest of experienced breeders and of the community in general.
Key Words: Meliponiculture, Bee, Family Agriculture, Sustainable management, Amazon.