We have arrived in Buenos Aires In advance of the Honey Bee Symposium. Traveling with me is my wife Lucie and she serves as my Spanish language translator. We added a few days to our trip in order to see and learn about this beautiful city. Our first experience upon arrival was a charge of $140 each at customs to enter Argentina. I found out later in talking to other visitors from different countries that only those with US passports pay this fee and that’s because the US customs charges them the same when they visit the US.
We have taken two tours of the city, one by bus and the other a walking tour, bawalkingtours.com, and we found the latter to be the most informative. I found it most interesting that the Argentian form of government is based on our system. They have a President, congress, senate and judiciary and, by the way, the pres. is a woman. Argentina was originally a Spanish colony and was ruled by the king of Spain with a viceroy in charge, doing the king’s bidding. There was a revolution in 1810 and that’s when they got their independence from Spain.
Today is the first day of spring which the portenos (residents of Buenos Aires) celebrate after the cold of winter. It is a big celebration even though it doesn’t ever freeze here and never snows. This may be the reason that Argentina is the second largest honey exporter in the world.
Today was the opening celebration of Apimondia 2011. There were many dignitaries honored for working tirelessly to bring this large conference to Buenos Aires. They spoke of each area of beekeeping to be presented over the four days of the conference. More than one thousand abstracts were submitted out of which 217 were accepted and they will be presented over the next four days. Subjects are broken down into several categories: Bee biology, Bee Health, Beekeeping Economy, Beekeeping for Rural Development, Beekeeping Technology and Quality, Pollination and Bee Flora, Stingless Bees (more on these guys later) and Apitherapy which is the use of hive and bee products for health. Of course, I cannot attend every presentation – I have to choose those that have the most interest to me. Fortunately, a book of all the abstracts including the schedule is provided for each attendee.
Each day I will include synopses of the talks that I attend. Each presentation is 20 minutes in length.