Organized by localities, they found a source of income that means economic independence.
The project was born with the objective that rural women could generate their income without having to leave their place of residence. It soon expanded and today they transmit the trade through a network that reaches more than 1,000 participants.
The Reinas de Corazones project was born in the Buenos Aires town of Pehuajó, in 2016, by the hand of Marina Muscolo to generate an opportunity for development and income for rural women without having to move from their places of residence. And, at the same time, produce a positive impact on the planet. Based on the concept of “favors chain”, the women who start receiving apiculture equipment and training, and then donate their first year of production so that with the sale of this honey other women can start in the beekeeping occupation.
That is how it began, that is how those who received it continued it, and that is how it continues to be nowadays. “The wonderful thing is, in addition to the possibility of receiving, also having the possibility of giving,” says the alma mater of the project. “This chain of favors has never been ended; that shows the commitment of each woman”. Under the motto “If you want to get there fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together”, this group continued to grow and in 2021 there are already more than 1,000 women in virtual training and 90 in production, not only in our provinces, but also in 17 more countries. The trainings are in agreement with INTA Proapi.
“What I like the most about beekeeping is that it connects us closely with nature, you start to think like a bee. Spring becomes tremendously exciting and each new flowering is an immense joy. Everywhere I walk, I look at sidewalks, roads, fences, looking for flowers that provide nectar and pollen to bees. In addition, I feel that we make our contribution for a healthier planet ”, says the agronomist Marina Muscolo.
Convinced that by working collaboratively a healthier and more equitable world can be achieved, these rural women come together to obtain training, financing and the purchase and sale of their products. Why women? In general, rural families live in the countryside because the man has a job there. That is why the need arises for an occupation and economic independence for women in this same place where they live.
Al no tener costos de traslado, su miel puede volverse más competitiva en el mercado y genera By not having transportation costs, our honey may become more competitive in the market and generates less footprint or damage to the environment. Even beekeeping is usually a part-time activity, that is, it can be perfectly complemented with other tasks.
“For me, being part of Reinas de Corazones means that we women can carry out this activity with total responsibility and the commitment that it implies. And also guide and accompany other women in this wonderful beekeeping world”, says María Casquero, part of the Pehuajó group. It is a relationship with the owner of the farm, in which everyone wins, since it is a production that needs very little area and does not use agricultural inputs. In addition, it provokes greater hold of the rural family in the countryside and generates higher yields for several crops – such as sunflower and canola – and forage crop plants – such as clovers and alfalfa – that are naturally replanted due to seeding thanks to the pollination of bees.
The group of women that began in Pehuajó grew rapidly to other locations, such as Daireaux, Azul, Lobos, Castelli, Cañuelas, Gral. Madariaga, Gral. Lavalle, Trenque Lauquen, among others. Until 2020 they met monthly to do one to one trainings, but the pandemic made this modality impossible and forced them to carry out virtual training. The positive point: this methodology gave the opportunity to have a greater reach and reach more than 1,000 women in training during 2021. Slowly and depending on the situation in each region, some beekeeping practices are being carried out, with reduced groups.
The next challenge for Reinas de Corazones is linked to the export of honey and the possibility of adding other products related to beekeeping, always with the care of the environment as one of the fundamental principles.
When harvested from combs, honey is liquid, because the bees keep the hives at warm temperatures. When removed from the hive and with the arrival of the cold days, this pure and raw honey crystallizes and transforms in a creamy texture. For crystallized honey to become liquid again without loosing all its natural properties, it can be gentry heated in water bath, at a temperature equal to or less than 40 ° C. On the contrary, the most solid honeys are obtained by placing them in a cold place (the enzymes reduce their activity and no longer keep the sugars in dilution). Bee pollen is rich in protein and is low in fat and sodium. It provides calcium, phosphorus and potassium –among other minerals– and a multitude of vitamins, including B, D and A. Its benefits are accessed through the consumption of raw honey, without processes or additives.