Italian companies: CONAPI, when men & bees join forces – Italian Cuisine

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It helps to sleep and at the same time energizes; it is used for burns as well as to fight harmful bacteria: honey is a real ally of well-being. And the more pollen and royal jelly are. I am the amber heart of CONAPI, the National Apiculturist Consortium, that gives forty years enhances the production and alliance of men & bees.

They define themselves "Biodiversity growers" the members and members of CONAPI (over 250, representing more than 600 producers on the national territory), because really beekeeping plays a crucial role in protecting biodiversity and helping the environment. Have you heard ‘the api alarm’ in recent years? The danger that these will disappear and the consequent catastrophes for nature and food production? Well, believe it: these incredible insects they really have a fundamental task in nature. The bees are responsible for 70% of the planet's edible crops! CThere are at least 5 ways we can help them survive. And returning to our health, to close the circle: you know that they even protect us from pesticides?

176791CONAPI, founded in 1979 by the initiative of 9 young people, is based in Monterenzio, in the province of Bologna, and is today the largest cooperative of beekeepers in Europe and among the most important worldwide, with the mission to carry on, giving strength and voice even beyond national borders, to the values ​​of sustainability, cooperation, links with the territory and biodiversity that are the basis of their work.

An internal regulation of the Consortium aims to ensure that the members, who collect honey and other fruits from the approximately 100,000 hives scattered from Piedmont to Sicily, adhere to the commitment to produce clean, healthy and high quality food – about 50% of the members' production is organic and the consortium is the leading producer of organic honey in Italy.

176794CONAPI owns one factory of 6,200 square meters which produces 3,200 tons of honey and fruit-based preparations: composed with reduced cooking times and made with honey. The historical brand of CONAPI beekeepers is Mielizia: not just one honey, but many honeys – with a traceability system can be used simply by connecting to the site with the product's QR code. Among the various product lines, that of the biological supplements (for example the Bio Energy and Bio Sport Energy bars) and the one for the HO.Tre.Ca channel, dedicated to bars and hotels, with dispenser, squeezer, exhibitors. Then there is Heart of honey, a brand of products 100% organic dedicated to the Ecor Naturasì sponsored bio channel.

But what are they? the "fruits" of the hive?

Bees transform nectar or honeydew in a long-life product – honey – of which they feed especially during the winter. CONAPI honeys are never subjected to pasteurization treatments.

Propolis it comes from the resinous substances of barks and buds of different plants that the bee carries attached to the hind legs up to the hive where it transforms them into a building material and disinfection of the environment. The propolis, from the Greek pro polis, it is not really a food but rather a substance that is used for pprotect our health. It has a chemical composition that varies according to the seasons and the territory.

176785THEwith royal jelly it is a glandular secretion that young bees produce between the 4th and 14th day of life (common bees live 45 days; queens 5 years), when they perform the function of nurse of the larvae and queen. In conclusion, a kind of mother's milk from the hive: it is a gelatinous substance with a whitish or yellowish color and a typically pungent smell. Its composition is unique; extremely rich in vitamin B5, a real one substance mine able to grow metabolic activity of cells. IS really precious and when we choose it it is very important to make sure of its origin: Italian and organic, like the one guaranteed by CONAPI.

176797Pollen it is the colored powder present in the flowers necessary for the reproduction of plants, which occurs above all thanks to pollinating insects, among which bees are the most effective representatives. A part of the pollen that remains attached to the body of foraging bees it is used for the colony, a complete and necessary food. Among the products of the hive, it is that more balanced in its components; it is very proteic and very rich in nutrients useful also for the human body.

176788Unlike honey, it is a food easily perishable: for this CONAPI has created a plant for its packaging in modified atmosphere, to keep its qualities unaltered. It consumes itself, or mixed with juices or again in the pastry dough rather than in salads or as a topping for yogurt and ice cream. By the way: did you know that CONAPI produces even ice cream ???

Carola Traverso Saibante
July 2019

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