Apiculture in the humid tropics: Socio-economic stratification and beekeeper production technology along the Gulf of Mexico


Castellanos-Potenciano B.P. , Gallardo-López F. , Díaz-Padilla G. , Pérez-Vázquez A. ,Landeros-Sánchez C. , Sol-Sánchez A.

Beekeeping is an economically productive activity of importance in the primary sector of many developing countries. In Mexico, this activity is an important source of foreign exchange, reaching $90 million (USD) annually from exports of honey. However, beekeeping has not been described, nor is there information on how beekeepers can design strategies and policies to improve performance. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to describe beekeepers in the central region of the state of Veracruz by characterizing socio-economic and production technology characteristics. In autumn 2013 and spring 2014, 88 beekeepers in 19 municipalities were interviewed. Principal components (PC) and Dalenius and Hodges groupings were used for data analysis. Beekeeping in the study area is an extensive activity, where social networks (friends and labor relations) of beekeepers largely defined their knowledge and production technology capacity. Three types of beekeepers were observed (commercial, intermediate, and traditional) for which different production technologies and economic variables were identified. The differences were defined by production scale, economic dependence on the activity and efficiency of the activity. Decision-makers should design policies to help improve the competitiveness of beekeeping in the humid tropics.

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