We have blogged about bees in the Yucatan, Mexico a few times this past year. The most recent post can be read here. Last year the Yucatan was hard hit by a hurricane as well, so the beekeepers there have had many challenges over and above the usual ones that beekeeping entails. There have been concerns surrounding the safety and wellbeing of bees, especially due to deadly pesticides.

So, it is with true happiness that we share the news that Yucatan legislators recently approved modifications to the Beekeeping Protection and Promotion Law with regards to the promotion of Beekeeping Activity and Protection of Bees and their Environment. The purpose of this is to protect these species and their habitat, and it will benefit over 12 thousand bee farmers across the state.

This 3:21-minute video by GLOBAL 3000 takes us into the world of Yucatan beekeepers:



Since the original laws were passed in 2004, there have only been three modifications, and now Congress approved the amendments to the laws by the totality of votes.

Janice Escobedo Salazar, the deputy who promoted the initiative, stated that the time had come to adapt the laws to reflect the current reality of the beekeeping sector in the Yucatan.

The Apicultural Product System Committee of the Yucatan is a specialized body that is responsible for studying the state’s beekeeping situation. These modifications strengthen the beekeeping sector, according to the local representative.

Also, the State Program for the Protection of Bees and the Promotion of Beekeeping of the State of Yucatán will be launched. This establishes the strategies and action guidelines to be taken by the Secretariat of Rural Development.

Bees are considered livestock. These modifications imply the promotion and development of good livestock practices by training beekeepers in the honey production processes. Beekeepers as well as staff at municipalities and associations will be certified in swarm removals, prioritizing conservation.

Also, incentives will be made available to encourage entrepreneurial projects that create jobs as well as for investment in the development of beekeeping according to the size of the state budget.

Regarding the use of pesticides, the reform contemplates the promotion of pesticides that do not harm the ecosystems, or human and animal health. This is a direct attempt to halt the alarming decline in the bee population in Yucatan, without involving federal powers.

According to Janice Escobedo, Mexico has been the world’s top honey producer and in 2018 the national honey production was over 64 thousand tons, of which Yucatan represented 18% of the total, according to data from the Mexican Federal Government.