The COABE (Little Bee Coop) bee collective has become a space for Nicaraguan students from various technical schools and universities to carry out professional practices and scientific research.
We recently met with Student Jefri Torres Hernandez, a final year student of the Agroecology Engineering degree at the National Autonomous University of Leon (UNAN-Leon). He shared with us his thoughts on what it has meant to him and his group of students when doing their thesis in the COABE apiary.
The Small Hive Beetle:
The Aethina Turrida, or Small Hive Beetle (SHB), is native to southern Africa and is a parasite of honey bee colonies. SHB adults and larvae feed on honey bee brood and pollen, causing brood death, honey fermentation, and comb destruction.
Jefri Torres Hernandez:
''I became aware of the COABE group as we were looking for a research field site. A young member of the Goyena community told us about COABE and how to make arrangements with the owners who would open the doors for us to carry out our scientific research thesis. At the site, we have been able to capture the small hive beetle. We are evaluating the biological controllers: Beauveria Bassiana and Metarhizium (parasitic fungii), to see what control they have over these beetles. Large populations of these beetles can harm the hive. They feed on honey, and their excretions cause the honey to ferment. This represents a loss for the producer and the beekeeper.
Carrying out this investigation will help prevent future damage.
Jefri Torres Hernandez added:
"As students we are grateful to the women of the Bee Collective. They have been generous and given us the space to carry out our scientific research. This thesis will be a contribution to support the beekeepers in new management methods that should be implemented to reduce damages in local and national beekeeping.”
This research seeks to provide alternatives to the beekeeper to control the small hive beetle. At ViviendasLeón, we are proud to know that the programs and projects we have developed over time represent and are a benchmark for experienced research work for students of all educational levels. Their work and research should offer viable solutions, friendly to all our surroundings and efficient for the development of rural communities in Nicaragua.