Nestled in the heart of South America, Santiago, Chile, pulsated with the vibrant buzz of Apimondia 2023. The 48th biannual conference of the world's premier beekeeping event was a honey-laden gathering, bringing the global beekeeping family under the awe-inspiring shadow of the Andes.
The event's inauguration painted a vivid picture. The president of Apimondia lauded the unyielding spirit of beekeepers worldwide, and Santiago, with its intricate tapestry of tradition and innovation, emerged as a host like no other.
For first-timers at Apimondia, here's a glimpse: imagine a panorama where English is adorned with myriad accents, groundbreaking research meets age-old traditions, and the air is thick with stories of bees and honey. It's less of a conference and more of an international family gathering.
This year's event was a beehive of activity, from enlightening scientific discussions and the world honey awards to an exposition floor brimming with the future of beekeeping. Meandering through the stalls felt like a global voyage, touching the essence of beekeeping from every continent.
A highlight, as always, was the election for the host of the 2027 conference. As Tanzania emerged victoriously, the air was filled with cheers, punctuated by the playful sight of Maasai Shukas.
My days were marked by reconnecting with old and new project partners. The joy of transitioning from virtual Zoom avatars to real, handshake-worthy colleagues was unparalleled. The insights shared on HiveTracks during our keynote on honey identity and verification attracted intrigue and sparked dialogues, a testament to our mark in the beekeeping realm and the beekeeping sector's pressing problems.
The lessons from Apimondia 2023 were abundant. Having the theme of "Sustainable Beekeeping, from the south of the world," the conference went beyond that, tackling the gravity of climate change's impact, the indispensable nature of indigenous beekeeping knowledge, and the pressing challenge of honey adulteration taking center stage.
As I packed my bags, laden with honey samples and enriched by newfound relationships, a sentiment lingered: a profound appreciation for our interconnected beekeeping community. Santiago, you were a delightful host. ¡Hasta la vista!
And for the upcoming Apimondia, it's "Vi ses i Denmark!" A rendezvous closer to home, yet with the promise of the same global spirit. The bees may traverse flowers, but we, their guardians, traverse borders with the same fervor. Onward to Denmark! 🐝🌍