Natural beekeeping

Natural beekeeping

During May 2022, in land located between the municipalities of Marciana and Marciana Marina, 5 of the 10 hives foreseen by the project were assembled, painted and put into operation. A few weeks later, the remaining 5 years were installed in the municipality of Porto Azzurro.

On the first apiary, between May and June 2022, monitoring was carried out with 3 monthly visits to encourage the correct development of the swarms. The 5 swarms went very well right from the start, demonstrating excellent adaptation to the hives and the environment.

With the arrival of summer 2022, due to the presence of conventional apiaries nearby, 3 hives were immediately looted by bees already present in the area. The 2 remaining hives showed excellent resistance and marked vitality, resulting in them being strong and able to defend themselves from looting and hornets.

However, in late summer 2022, the last 2 remaining swarms began a slow decline until they were completely depopulated in late autumn. Given the approach of the unfavorable period (winter 2022), it was decided not to repopulate the hives immediately, but to proceed safely with the reintegration of the swarms in the following spring (2023), with the start of the favorable season.

However, the 2023 beekeeping season was characterized by numerous extreme climatic events, which immediately affected its progress, especially with regards to the production of queens and new nuclei. For this reason, Marciana's top bar hives, after being reinstated with 5 new swarms, never showed the desired development, remaining extremely weak.

The top bar hives of Porto Azzurro, however, having been populated at a later time, and being positioned in an area that was more favorable to the survival of the colonies, had a more positive development following the population. The bees, in fact, built new honeycombs well, even producing a few kilos of wildflower honey.

In spring 2024, the restoration of the colonies in the top bar hives and the subsequent certification according to the Biodiversity Friend® Beekeeping protocol of the colonies is expected.