Students from Los Trinitarios School participated in the screening of the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees” and the panel on “The importance of bees and beekeeping for sustainable development.”
(Santo Domingo, September 9, 2015). Students from Los Trinitarios School learned about the important benefits bees provide to human beings by watching the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees”, and later participating in the panel “The importance of bees and beekeeping for sustainable development.”
The activity was part of the screenings being offered by the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), which runs from September 8 to September 13 in eleven cities around the country.
The panel, in which speakers discussed the socio-economic benefits and food provided by bees, was led by Hanoi Vásquez, coordinator of the Clúster Apícola Dominicano (CLUSAPIDOM); Martin Canals, an expert from the Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF); and Niyra Castillo, director of agricultural management for the Dirección General de Ganadería (DIGEGA).
Ms. Vásquez said beekeeping is a development tool that can be used to alleviate poverty in the Dominican Republic, “because it contributes socially with the creation of jobs and it includes women in the activities that are being undertaken.”
She referred to the global problem that is causing the disappearance of bees and called for their protection. Vásquez warned that if bees disappear, human beings will follow the same fate. “If bees cease to exist, humanity will not last more than three years.”
The coordinator of CLUSAPIDOM noted that bees are the best pollinators and referred to a study done by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which determined that one in three foods consumed by humans has been pollinated by a bee.
The pollination process is the transfer of pollen from the stamen to the stigma, or receptive part of the flowers in the angiosperms, which germinates and fertilizes the eggs of the flower, making the production of seeds and fruits possible.
Martin Canals said beekeeping is a complementary activity and that, depending on how many of hives (where bees live) one has, it can also provide a livelihood.
He noted that beekeeping in the Dominican Republic is seen as a development tool for rural areas.
The IDIAF expert explained how to develop beekeeping in the DR and then talked about the contributions it can provide to one’s personal financial situation as well as to the food economy.
Niyra Castillo said that, in addition to honey, bees provide us with benefits through their pollen, which contains large amounts of protein. She explained that their contributions range from pollination of fruits and vegetables to the production of wax for the creation of other products.
The students speak
“The activity was very educational and showed us the importance of bees, their honey and what they do in our immunological system.” Danisa Popa Pérez, 12 years old.
“Honey is delicious. Before this film, I didn’t know that bees influenced our development so much. We should take care of the bees so they’re not affected like they are in other countries like the U.S. and France.” Michelle Peralta, 11 years old.
“Bees bring us lots of benefits, for the country’s economy and for our food.” Armando Martínez, 13 years old.