9/28/2011 11:13 AM
Alberto Almo and Francesca Fontana are a
husband wife beekeeping team who take care of 500 hives. He takes care of honey production and bottling. She has been raising queens for 8 years. Alberto was a farmer and a member of the International Organic Society. It was there he learned to change his way of beekeeping and went from using chemicals to using Oxalic Acid. He used to use Thymol but found it didn’t take care of the Varroa. He also shared that the Italian bee no longer exists.
When raising their queens they choose 2 lines of genetics each year. They also try to define the drones of a particular species by using the drone during the first 12-24 hours of larvae stage. When they make the queens of these combined genetics, they give them to their neighbors to be sure the special lines stay intact and prevent inner breeding and other non-resistant stocks. This is done about every 3 years. He gets his queens from those who raise resistant queens, like France, Germany, Switzerland, to name a few.
They also make their nuc boxes out of polystyrene measuring about 5 x 7 x 10. There is a space for the queen and a space for about 150 grams of bees. That’s about 4.82 oz of workers. After they create a small brood, he then puts them in a regular hive and takes them to the sea. He does feed them with organic sugar. He does not save the honey for the bees.
Alberto shared that Coca Cola has a pesticide in called Aspartame. Aspartame was created during WWII for the purpose of getting rid of insects. Years later someone had per chance taste the chemical and found it sweet and that was when it started being used as an artificial sweetener. Aspartame is a carcinogen.
Alberto also said the Bayer was banned from selling their pesticides in 2008. Before the ban he would lose 50% of his bees. Since the ban, he has only lost 10% of bees.