Beekeeping at Refugio de Los Angeles
Six years ago a beekeeping project was initiated on the property.
There were no beekeepers in Quebrada Grande which made the purchase of pure honey for consumption expensive and the quality unreliable. To get the beekeeping project underway farm manager, Renal Alvarado enlisted the guidance of beekeepers in Jicaral who generously offered to share their resources and knowledge with him and Refugio employee Reyes.
Lloyd Standish, a local master of many skills, among them the production of medicinal grade carao and pure cane syrup, is an experienced beekeeper who instructed Renal and Reyes on the art of keeping Africanized bees.
All bee colonies at Refugio de Los Angeles are Africanized. African bees are much more resistant to all diseases. Fortunately with these bees we don’t have trouble with over-aggressiveness. When beekeepers are working with the hives, the bees are usually quite gentle while being handled.
“Our methods of beekeeping completely eliminate disease and result in extremely strong, prosperous hives, which is our priority above honey production”
With the encouragement and example of Lloyd Standish, Renal and Reyes put the bee’s health and wellbeing first, production second. They prefer to leave all the honey required for the bees’ nourishment in the nectar drought time of the winter season which lasts from June through October. During this period they avoid artificial feeding of the bees unless absolutely necessary.
While the bee operation at Refugio de Los Angeles is small, consisting of four hives, the bees are thriving and produce a superb medicinal honey.