Melissa Zoi (Bee artificial insemination project for biodiversity)
The centre was inaugurated at the village of Odou, in June 2022, thanks to an initiative by Bank of Cyprus and the Rotary Clubs of Cyprus. It aims to revitalise the environment and restore economic activity to areas where honey is produced and which were devastated by fires. The 2021 blaze burned about 75% of beehives and resulted in the deaths of millions of bees.
The project aims to bring back life to the destroyed ecosystem, revitalising the honey-producing communities affected by the fires. "Melissa-Zoi" centre will help young people residing in the area keep their jobs in the honey-making business. The goal, is to give the necessary support to nature and to the communities that suffer environmentally, financially and professionally, so that they come back to life. At the same time, the centre will serve to support the local economy, helping recover not only the production of honey but other agricultural products as well.
We've launched a series of lectures which have already attracted a great deal of interest. The first theme was on what it takes to engage in artificial reproduction and quality analysis. On the occasion of the visit, Dr Demetris Kanelis and Dr Vasilis Liolios gave an interview on the subject.
On a second occasion, Professor Paschalis Harizanis instructed beekeepers in the ways of artificial reproduction and honey analysis, both in theory and hands-on and at an interview he explained the importance of artificial insemination and its significance for the biodiversity and the production of high-quality honey. We believe that this training will support ongoing efforts in the areas affected by the fires, but will also boost the role of the centre in the broader area.
The centre’s operation will benefit nine communities and 38 small and medium-sized honey-making businesses. Moreover, the centre will be linked with educational programmes and other activities, helping raise awareness about the important role that bees play in the environment. Run by the communities, the facility will be staffed by trained personnel.