- 20/05/20

World Bee Day at Ombria Resort

There is a strong commitment to environmental sustainability within Ombria Resort that could not prevail without the most beautiful natural scenario and the local community.

Today we are happy to introduce you to Dália Mogo, a professional beekeeper based in the village of Salir. From explaining how vital pollinating insects are for the ecosystem, to fascinating curiosities about bees, Dália shows us the way ahead to guarantee the preservation of their natural habitat.

Hello Dália,

Tell us about yourself and your own passions!


I'm Dália, I'm 45 years old, and I was born here in Salir, which is located more or less 17km away from Loulé so we are right in the heart of the Algarve's Caldeirão mountain, that gives name to our honey. 

We have been around for 23/24 years. We started with a small group of apiaries, with the first projects and, meanwhile, we have developed five projects from ProDer and IFADAP. We have been growing as beekeepers here in the interior of the Algarve.

Growing up here, we loved the mountains and the people of the interior. We lived in Loulé but came back here. Beekeeping is a passion of my father, my father-in-law, my husband. They are to blame! 

My father and my father-in-law inspired my husband because they helped him to see how particular this passion of theirs was. Also, my husband was always curious and worked with his father for some time. His father had another job, so he thought this would be a good business idea to go along with.

With much dedication and effort, we have managed to do so. Although I'm more interested in the commercial side, I also love spending time on the execution/production side. Cleaning boards, painting hives, changing the colonies from place to place (transhumance) in search of the best flora, and that's why we have such different types of honey.

Carob honey comes from a specific place and season; rosemary honey comes from a particular place and season, the same with orange honey.

So does this allow you to have honey for the whole year?

Yes, we can have honey harvesting several times a year since we take the honey produced in each one of the blooming phases.

What's the importance of Beekeepers? 

Beekeepers as caretakers of the hives have every interest in doing their best to increase the sufficient number of bees and take care of their health, preventing them from dying or being threatened by other pests. It is a true partnership. They produce our honey, but they are "called" to provide a little more so that we remove the surplus.


What are the leading measures beekeepers need to address?

It's essential to pay attention to what we use in the treatment of our agricultures. It has become a frequent concern to have several phytopharmaceuticals used to treat the various species (trees or vegetables), which cause the death of the colonies, effectively decimating entire colonies if we don't take care with the pesticides used or pest control.

There must be a symbiosis, a rapport between the various systems. The farmers have N plantations, the beekeepers also have an essential job, and it is crucial to have a joint work that allows everything to cohabit.

How is the management of honey produced by the colonies done? 

What we do is to encourage beekeeping. They will increase the production of bees, there will be higher posture, and there will be greater breeding, which will lead to a higher production of honey, from which we remove the surplus, never completely removing the honey production from that hive. We always leave enough honey so that the colony is still comfortable and healthy.

Speaking in the context of the current world, if human intervention ceased to exist, do you consider that the number of bees would decrease, increase or stay the same?

In general, one might say that it would slow down a bit because the normal process of beekeeping would be slower. Mankind's intervention is more harmful, with pollution, noise, and the reduction of green areas which bees love. It doesn't always work, but it's essential to pay attention to all the species and to protect them.

The bee lays 5000 eggs a day, has a lifespan in a hive up to 5 years, if all goes well, and chooses the best way to lay eggs; it gets organised, evolves in its wisdom, in the way it structures its hive. We are talking about a very advanced social structure.


What bee-world curiosity do you find the most interesting?

It is interesting, it is peculiar, it is one of many of their extreme organisation, of absolute wisdom, this is the one curiosity that baffles me. The drones in the hive absolutely serve to mate only once on the nuptial flight with the queen. They can mate several times, but in the process of laying eggs, as soon as the breeding is chosen and they see which are the best bees; they select the semen themselves, from the strongest and most robust drone that makes the bees more or fewer workers.

Then, the queen chooses the semen she will use for laying eggs, so the "men" in the hive are seen in the colony as a necessary evil!

How are pollinators essential to maintaining the ecosystem?

Bees are responsible for more than 80/85% of the pollination of most of the food that we humans consume: from grains, fruit, vegetables. They are responsible while working on pollen collection; they are responsible for pollinating the flora. Without flora, humans do not live, nor do animals. So this little being is responsible for our food and our ecosystem, and we must recognise that this is very important. If they don't live, neither can we.

What does World Bee Day mean to you?

This day is also to see the work of beekeepers recognised because they make bees work and help this type of business grow but beekeeping is much more than that. It is not just the business we do around, but the importance that a being as small as a bee has in our ecosystem. It effectively recognises the work that these critical, intelligent and organised animals produce in our ecosystem. Without them, everything is impossible!

Right now, we have 1500 hives. The number used to be higher, but it’s now less. At this moment, we are around 1500. Our goal is to reach 2000 in 2/3 years, given the weather and diseases that plague apiaries, from the fence to the lock, n situations. Asian wasps and then specific climatic changes that have been making it not so easy to deal with hives and make them thrive.


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