Apiculture In Chile

The country is divided into five areas, very different in terms of geography and climate:
  • The north, with the impressive presence of the Atacama Desert;
  • Santiago, Valparaiso and the Central valley, best known for its Mediterranean climate;
  • Further south, a region of lakes, volcanoes and temperate rain forests;
  • In the far south, Patagonia and the Antarctic
  • There are also the islands of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and the archipelago of Juan Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe Islands)

Chile is a privileged country with regard to its flora, 50% of which corresponds to native and endemic species. This offers possibilities for producing honeys and other bee products with unique characteristics, and a high potential for differentiation on the international markets.

According to official sources, (the livestock information system, SIPEC Apícola, of the “Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero -SAG”) there are 9598 beekeepers registered in Chile, who manage 1,353.301 hives. The majority belong to the Small Family Farmers segment. 21% declare that they are connected to the honey exports category. Their principal product is honey and their main income is from the sale of this product. In addition, pollination services are a second important source of income, apart from the strategic input of beekeeping to food production, and enrichment of biodiversity. Based on a nation wide strategy, the sector has created opportunities for training, technical assistance and research, through creation of tools for promoting production, all of which have lead to an increase in the number of hives in production for export of honey avnd other bee products and also in pollination.

During the last 25 years, there have been changes in the beekeeping chain and its industry that have improved production processes and made it possible to develop systems for modernization and professionalization at all levels. Over this period, the transformation has been driven by a joint effort of the public and private sectors, through working groups that have generated high levels of investment, traceability systems, and product quality, in order to comply with the requirements of the national and international markets.

It is also important to mention that in this period, the effort to add value to bee products has been oriented also to pollination services, as this activity takes second place in the sources of income of the Chilean beekeepers. In Apimondia 2023 our aim is to present the coverage and extension of beekeeping and its industry in Chile, and share our experiences with the rest of the world.

 

 

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