The Formation of a Latin American Bee Research Network, Uruguay, Dr Antunez

The Formation of a Latin American Bee Research Network, Uruguay, Dr Antunez

The Formation of a Latin American Bee Research Network

Hacia la formación de una Red Latinoamericana de
Investigacion en Abejas Meliferas

INIA La Estanzuela, Colonia, Uruguay.

On November 24th and 25th, 2016, more than 50 researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, the United States and Austria met at INIA La Estanzuela, Colonia- Uruguay. The following is a detail of the discussed points and the resolutions of this meeting:   



Definition of objectives for a Latin American Network

  • Researchers decided to create a "Latin American Bee Research Society". A foundational letter was written and signed by all the attending researchers.
  • This Society will organize a general meeting every two years, during the days before or after the FILAPI Congress.
  • The Society will have one / two general coordinators, one / two coordinators per country and one / two coordinators per thematic area.
  • Every researcher from Latin America will be invited to participate. However, the requirements to become a member will be established on the statutes of the Society.
  • An official headquarters must be defined for the Network / Society, in order to facilitate the legal process.

     The society will:

  • Share information among different countries in favour of associative and integrated research in Latin America.
  • Coordinate joint research proposals.
  • Stimulate the training of students and researchers (internships, courses, exchange of researchers).
  •  Generate a web page that allows spreading the activities of the society and its members.
  • Generate a Latin American Bulletin / Journal.


Conference participants, Uruguay 2016
Over 50 particiapants representing 10 countries, gather for the first conference in Uruguay, Nov. 2016.


Main threats for bees in Latin America / Joint research proposals

During the discussion sessions the participants to postulated the main issues in each country. It was evident that the geography and idiosyncrasy of each territory motivated the prioritization of different problems and challenges. However, some topics were common to most countries:

  • Intensification of land use / changes in agricultural practices: progress of monoculture and the agricultural-forestry frontier (indiscriminate use of agrochemicals, loss of pollinator nesting sites and loss of diversity of honey plants); transgenic crops; nutritional problems.
  • Problems associated with the inefficient use or misuse of chemicals for beekeeping (antibiotics / acaricides) leading to problems of resistance and sub-lethal effects due to chronic exposure. Accumulation of acaricides in stamped wax and other matrices.
  • Lack of systematization of information and loss of pollinators (honey bees and other species).
  • Climate change.
  • Presence of pathogens and parasites (Varroosis, Varroosis associated with virosis, Nosemosis), emerging pathogens (Aetina thumida).
  • Loss of genetic diversity.
  • Little knowledge about the problems of wild bees, exchange/transfer of pathogens with honey bees.
  • Introduction and dispersal of exotic species.
  • Problems related to the beekeeping sector (Technical training of beekeepers, Management in migratory beekeeping, Production costs, Management strategies differentiating the different productive hymenoptera).
  • Need for value added generation in hive products.
  • Other problems: Brown disease (Brazil); Ant Camponotus (Brazil); Problems with efficacy and performance of queens (Uruguay). Use of unapproved probiotics (Mexico).

The following Thematic Areas to be addressed in the Society were defined:

  • Diversity and biology.
  • Impact of agrochemicals and other agricultural practices.
  • Pests and pathogens.
  • Products, services and value added



Election of Coordinators.

  1. General Coordinators
    1. Karina Antúnez (Uruguay), Martín Porrini (Argentina)
  2. Country Coordinadors
    1. Chile: Patricia Aldea
    2. Uruguay: Ciro Invernizzi
    3. Perú: Eleazar Pérez
    4. Costa Rica: Rafael Calderón
    5. Colombia: Alexandra Torres
    6. Argentina: Sandra Fuselli/ Marina Basualdo
    7. México: Adriana Correa/ José María Tapia
    8. Brasil: Lionel Segui Gonçalves
    9. Bolivia: Rodrigo Velarde

Dr. Peter Neumann (Switzerland), Dr. Crailsheim (Austria), Dr. Ernesto Guzmán Novoa (Mexico/ Canada) and Dr. Miguel Corona (Mexico/USA.) were proposed as scientific collaborators. Dr. Neumann and Dr. Crailsheim were proposed also as nexus with COLOSS.


  1. Thematic area coordinators:
  • Diversity and biology. Carolina Morales / Walter Farina
  • Impact of agrochemicals and other agricultural practices. Ramón Rebolledo / Horacio Heinzen
  • Pests and pathogens. Belén Branchiccela / Natalia Bulacio
  • Products, services and value added. Andrés Cañedo / Patricia Estay

Web, mail and social network:

Santiago Plischuk



In addition to the different discussion workshops, the following presentations were made:

"COLOSS: Honeybee research association". Dr. Karl Crailsheim gave details of this working group, its members and forms of organization. At the same time he spoke about the objectives and main achievements.

"Dr. Eva Crane and Eva Crane Trust". Dr. Lionel Gonçalves (pictured right) talked about the life and work of Dr. Crane, emphasizing the importance of her research work and the legacy left. He also talked about Eva Crane Trust, and its
interest in promoting the understanding and dissemination of knowledge of bees.

"Honeybee nutrition" Dr. Karl Crailsheim presented the closing conference of the event, focused on the importance of nutrition in bee development. Finally, he recounted the experience of the CSI pollen research project.