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Analysis of the productive and economic feasibility of a new bee venom extractor prototype, for the extraction of bee venom on apiaries belonging to beekeepers members of beekeeping associations in the State of São Paulo

Abstract

The worker bees of the specie Apis mellifera produce on average 0,11mg of a specific bee venom to defend their colony. The bee venom consists in many substances that have pharmacological utility to cure various diseases. Because of this therapeutic potential, their bioactive compounds have been gaining international visibility and commercial importance. Situation that motivated many researches to develop more efficient bee venom collectors. In this context, in September 2015, the researcher responsible for this proposal completed the development of a new bee venom collector prototype. This prototype has an electrified contact surface that can be used in the same beehive with 1,015m², which represents an increase of 200% comparing to the most efficient collector available in Brazil. The extraction of bee venom is usually performed by the beekeeper, who according to a field survey conducted in 2013 in São Paulo, have an average of 120 beehives, divided into different apiaries containing 20 up to 35 beehives per apiary. These beekeepers mostly do not extract bee venom in their apiaries, and 95% of them do not know the methods to collect bee venom. Thus, the researcher intends to create a link between the available knowledge of the methods for collection bee venom for the beekeepers, with the analysis of productive and economic feasibility of the prototype, to subsequently offer the service of collecting bee venom. Bringing us to the next phase of this research, which aims to answer the following question: Is it feasible productive and economically offer the bee venom collecting service for apiaries belonging to beekeepers from the family agriculture, with this new prototype? To answer this question, will be used 24 collectors prototypes and an appropriated vehicle to transport the prototypes. The collection will be held in apiaries of beekeepers members of beekeeping association in the state of São Paulo. The associations formally committed with this project are: Association of beekeepers of Botucatu; Association of beekeepers of Leme; Association of beekeepers of Descalvado; Association of beekeepers of Piedade, Ibiúna and region. The collection will be made simultaneously in 24 hives, in 40 apiaries three times a year, once in the fall, once in winter and once in the spring, with a total sample of 120 collections. After each collection, the collectors will be transported to the company's laboratory in Botucatu, where the glass plate with the poison will go to the scraping process. After the removal of the venom from the plates, will be performed the processes of dehumidification, weighing, labeling and storage in a freezer with -86ºC. The data that will be collected has the goal to evaluate the productivity of the prototype and the productivity of the apiaries in production situation, as well as to analyze the economic feasibility of bee venom production. The production data will be analyzed descriptively with chi-square statistical methods and the non-parametric t-test. For economic data will be conducted an economic analysis in Microsoft Excel software. The expected results are to be able to compare the productivity of the apiaries between different locations, seasons and management practices. The economic expected results are to determine the point of healthy balance, and to suggest a price for rent the apiaries of the beekeepers. The main focus of the research is to create a database that gives the condition to structure an innovative service of bee venom extraction, where beekeepers can significantly increase their income and the company can prosper. (AU)