Monday, August 27, 2007

What is Apimondia and Why Australia

Some folks have asked me about my reference to Apimondia and why Australia. APIMONDIA exists to promote scientific, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries and the cooperation of beekeepers` associations, scientific bodies and of individuals involved in apiculture worldwide.

There is a world beekeeping congress sponsored by Apimondia every two years. I have been to several, starting with Acapulco, Mexico (1981), followed by Budapest, Hungary (1983), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1989), Vancouver, BC, Canada (1999) and Durban, South Africa (2001). For the latter, I wrote a series of articles published in the 2001 Bee Culture, a magazine that caters to beekeepers.

The 2007 venue is Australia, a land that has long tradition in beekeeping. Australia is extraordinary in a lot of ways for beekeeping. It's eucalyptus trees are great sources nectar and since they have been exported around the world are important nectar plants in other places like Ecuador in South America. It is also one of the increasingly rare places free from the ravages of Varroa destructor, originally named Varroa jacobsoni, but more often just called Varroa. Thus, a trip "Down Under" will be one back in time to look at beekeeping as it was before the arrival of this exotic mite that changed beekeeping forever around the world.

I will be presenting a paper at the Melbourne congress along with my Argentinian colleague Martín Braunstein on what we are calling The Global Bee Breeder's Initiative.

I will be participating in two arranged tours in Australia. See other entries for the Itinerary. After a week in Perth, my trip down under will end in New Zealand, returning to the United States on October 8, 2007.

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