A beekeeper tends his hives. A beekeeper tends his hives.

Lack of coordination blamed in bee die-off

Beekeepers weren't notified of crop dusting activities, say officials

The Agriculture Secretariat (Sagarpa) has determined that partially unregulated use of agrochemical products is one of the causes of the disappearance of 53% of honey bees in the Comarca Lagunera region of the northern states of Coahuila and Durango earlier this year.


An official at Sagarpa said bees in the area were poisoned due to a lack of coordination between beekeepers and farmers. The former used pest control substances without the latter’s knowledge, putting the beehives at risk, explained Francisco Gurría Trviño.

“This phenomenon is not exclusive to La Laguna, but it became more serious there because of the lack of coordination. The warnings were not issued with enough time and the crop-dusting planes sprayed herbicides or pesticides on beehives that weren’t removed in time; in other instances, beehives were put back before the agrochemicals had had enough time to dissipate and stop representing a threat to the bees,” said Gurría.

“The same has happened in beehives in the states of Veracruz, Morelos and Hidalgo. This is why coordination is needed at the national level.”

In April, 110 beekeepers reported that the population of their hives had seen losses between 18% and 80%, and demanded 6.6 million pesos in compensation (about US $376,000) to replace close to 3,000 beehives.

Sagarpa has responded that it will only be able to offer 1.9 million pesos to 64 beekeepers.


The president of the Mexican Federation of Beekeepers said that asking beekeepers to physically remove their beehives before insecticides are sprayed over an area is “illogical.” Enrique Estrada de la Mora said the damage caused by the process is “very serious.”

Regarding the compensation package, he said “the amount won’t be enough to replace the beehives lost in that region, but we’ll have to make do. [The amount of the compensation] should be as much as possible to offset the effects . . . .”

Estrada said massive bee die-offs have been reported not only in La Laguna but throughout the country, a situation that should be addressed by raising awareness among federal authorities.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Sol del Centro (sp)

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  • kallen

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a turtle, jaguar, vaquita or a butterfly; nature always pays the price in Mexico.

    • AM

      You mean all over the world. There are no stupid comments only….

      • kallen

        Yes, all over the world for sure but Mexico is especially bad….especially for a so-called 2nd world country.

        • AM

          Lol…”so-called 2nd world”…amusing. You talk about Mexico as if you know what you are saying. You read this article and all of a sudden you are an expert on Mexico’s environmental record. And yet, I bet that you are completely clueless about your own country and their track record on the environment, i.e. the biggest polluter in the world. No worries, China is right there with you.

          Fyi, the green sea turtle is no longer considered “endangered” in Mexico, as reported by The Independent.

          • kallen

            I live there half the year so yeah, I see the environmental issues/atrocities first hand: its a constant barrage of insults to the land and other living things.

            For example, I had some workers over at the house this past season and we found a rattlesnake by the pila. All the workers wanted to kill it. It started a long conversation about why that was necessary/unnecessary. Since I was the boss I had my way. We corralled it into a bag and I took it up the hill and let it go. Something like this happens all the time. Their first instinct is to kill…or dump their used motor oil in the arroyo or throw their beer can out the window. Culturally, there just doesn’t seem to be sensitivity to other life forms or the ecosystem we all share but I have to say I’m optimistic about the younger generation of Mexicans – they seem to care a lot more.

            Of course we in the US have our issues but we’re a leader in conservation not just in the US but around the world.

      • David Nichols

        I doubt that kallen needs you to tell her what she meant…

        Perhaps you haven’t noticed the title of this site: FYI it’s MEXICO news daily, so it follows that the conversations contained within will be focused on Mexico…

  • Hailey Mannering

    It´s been known for years that the bee colonies that survive are the organic colonies..