Brazilian beekeeper Osvaldo Souza Santos, 54, saw his relationship with the environment change when he started working with bees. Born in the countryside, he worked with his parents until he was 22 and soon discovered a passion for beekeeping.
“I initially assisted a beekeeper friend and soon became fascinated by it. Despite initial setbacks with my beehives, I realized that knowledge was the key. Enrolling in beekeeping courses from SENAR-MS was the turning point,” recalls the rural producer.
He is one of Nova Andradina Beekeepers Association’s (APINOVA) ten rural producers. There, they process honey through extraction, settling, and bottling. The product is sold in nearby cities but has the potential to cross Mato Grosso do Sul’s borders. With aid from the Municipal Inspection Service (SIM) and the Brazilian Inspection System (SISBI) seals, the product can be sold throughout the country.
Osvaldo’s honey production is carried out within an Environmental Protection Area (APA)—an activity allowed by the Federal Constitution—, as well as in Legal Reserves due to the benefits to the environment, such as assisting in the pollination of preserved plants. Beekeeping is an activity that meets all sustainability requirements.
This story is a testament to the transformative power of beekeeping. Through his commitment and education, Osvaldo became a successful beekeeper and found a deeper connection to the environment. With each passing day, he continues to inspire others to care for our planet.
As he looks ahead, Osvaldo’s dreams are big. With around 50 beehives and a goal of reaching 200 within the next two years, his ambition knows no bounds. His path illustrates the harmony that can be achieved when passion meets purpose.
In Osvaldo’s world, every hive hums with the promise of a brighter, more sustainable future. Through beekeeping, not only does he produce honey, but also nurtures a greener, healthier planet for generations to come.
Beekeeping in Brazil: A Legacy of Sustainably Sourced Honey
Beekeeping in Brazil emerged as an organized method for honey extraction and production, with the systematic introduction of beehives by immigrants from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. From 1956 onward, production grew significantly when European and African bee species were crossbred, thus creating the Africanized bee species, “Apis mellifera.”
The rich diversity of Brazil’s natural flora played a key role in fostering the growth of beekeeping throughout the country. Today, beekeeping is a thriving industry in all Brazilian diverse ecosystems, responsible for supplying approximately 90% of the world’s organic honey. In addition to honey, beekeeping yields several other valuable products, including nectar, beeswax, royal jelly, propolis, pollen, and apitoxin.