Interview with Ilaria Zaccone carried out by the Green Team, the group of young people involved in Change Route project.

How many times do we see bees flying near the balconies or gardens of our homes in search of nectar and pollen? If we could follow them to their hives we would discover that the majority come from companies or individuals involved in the beekeeping sector.

On a sunny day in November we of the Green Team of Change Route project we were able to get to know these little animals a little more closely thanks to Ilaria Zaccone, a young beekeeper from Nizza Monferrato who has been carrying out this profession with passion and care for years.

Our objective was to understand how much bees in the Alto Monferrato area are affected by the effects of climate change, considering their important ecological and economic role as pollinators.

 hives in Monferrato 

In fact, 75% of major agricultural crops and approximately 90% of wild plants depend on pollinators to transfer pollen from one flower to another and reproduce. These are data that immediately highlight the close link that unites these two parts.

However, their decline is well known and is associated with a series of environmental pressures, including habitat fragmentation, the introduction of invasive species, the use of agrochemicals, climate change and other alterations at the basis of which we find, more or less directly, human activities. Bees have become the symbol of various pollinator conservation initiatives, in this category we remember how they also include other species from butterflies to bats. However, the best known and most popular species is certainly Apis mellifera, that is, the honey bee, which we have been breeding since ancient times. If we talk about pollinators, this species is probably the first to come to mind, but is it as threatened as wild species? How much are you affected by the alterations we make to the environment?

hives and beekeepers in Monferrato

In front of her hives Ilaria removed all our doubts, telling us about her and her bees in a calm and kind voice, almost as if she didn't want to disturb the little workers who frantically came and went from each hive.

What does it mean to be a beekeeper and what pushed you to become one?
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What are the most noticeable effects of climate change on your bees? You could give us both an objective reading of the phenomenon and your personal impressions. How does the idea that they might suffer from it make you feel?

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Climate change certainly has its significant impact, but other factors such as habitat loss, various diseases and the use of agrochemicals also contribute to putting bees at risk. How much do your bees suffer from these pressures?
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We talked about the domestic species, Apis mellifera. If we compared it with other wild species or, more generally, with other pollinating insects, would it be at risk of extinction in the same way?
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Speaking of the media, lately there has been a lot of talk and publicity about the possibility of adopting a beehive. What do you think about it? What is the real positive impact of a similar choice on biodiversity?
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