Bees for Development Journal Edition 10 - May 1987

Page 1

for beekeepers in tropical & subtropical countries FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APICULTURE IN TROPICAL CLIMATES The Government of Egypt has agreed to host this Conference, which is now scheduled for 5-10 November 1988 and will be held in the International Conference Centre, Cairo.

IBRA’s International Conferences

have a considerable impact on tropical

apiculture because they: * bring together practising beekeepers and bee scientists from throughout the developing world to share their knowledge. * provide a unique opportunity for discussion between researchers, beekeepers, extension workers and representatives from aid agencies. * alert governmental and international organisations to the importance of beekeeping in providing extra food, pollination of crops, employment and cash income. * produce Resolutions which highlight areas requiring immediate attention from Governments and aid agencies. The First Circular is now available from IBRA, and further information about the Conference will be given in the next edition of Newsletter.

NEW DIRECTOR Following Dr Margaret Adey’s resignation, IBRA will have a new Director from September. The new Director 1s Vincent Cook, currently UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food National Beekeeping


Vince Cook has experience of beekeepand ing in the tropics, particularly Asia, New has worked for many years in Zealand, where he was a

Government Apicultural Advisory Officer with 35, 000 colonies in his district, and responsibilities ranging from controlling bee diseases to conducting field experiments on beekeeping and allied subjects.

In 1980 Vince Cook returned to Britain to take up his present position as the

Government National Beekeeping Specialist, and is widely known as a most knowledgeable lecturer and demonstrator of beekeeping: he prepares UK Ministry literature and has supervised legislation regarding honeybee importation and bee disease diagnosis. Vince Cook’s most recent publication, Queen Rearing Simplified, has been widely acclaimed in beekeeping circles. IBRA looks forward to welcoming the new Director and wishes him every suc-

Antonio Vaca Patino works with his bees without wearing protective clothing—find out how on page 2

Fin this Issue Practical Beekeeping Using the smoker Ideas for better beekeeping management A low-cost frame hive from Peru News Around the World



(the Overseas Development Administration, UK) who fund my work as Information Officer for Tropical Apiculture here at IBRA have facilirecently provided computing ties to ease the growing work load involved in providing this information service. All addresses on the entered mailing list have now been

on to an

IBM microcomputer and

labels generated by the microcomputer have been used to address this edition of Newsletter to you. Please check that your name and address were given correctly, and if there is any alteration, enter the correct details on page 12 and return the whole page to IBRA.

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Hive Aid

Ailanthus—-A surplus Honey =«source

Beekeeping in the Gambia Candle Making Bookshelf VII Brazil Congress: The latest on Varroa jacobsoni Looking Ahead Have you moved?



ISSN 0256-4424

100% recycled paper

International Bee Research Association

“PRACTICAL BEEKEEPING direct a few puffs of smoke through the entrance. The smoke puffed in works in two ways. Firstly it obscures the alarm pheromone, and secondly it causes bees to fill their honey sacs with honey. Thus bees find it difficult to bend their abdomen to sting. They are thus subdued, enabling the beekeeper to work with them with a minimum of stings.

smoker fuel that we have been using for 50 years is dried cow dung. It gives out a cloud of cool smoke. Once it has been ignited thoroughly in the smoker it continues smouldering even if the smoker bellows are not worked periodically. I worked out that a standard size smoker tightly packed with chips of cow dung lasts long enough to work with 14 bee colonies during the peak of the working season. Packing cases of fertilizers or pesticides, and plastic material must not be used as smoker fuel.

How much smoke to use

How to light a smoker


Using the Smoker There is nothing more frustrating than a smoker which keeps going out! In the following article F A Shah gives some helpful ideas on how to use a smoker to the best advantage.

Smoke is an important aid when carrying out many beekeeping operations. It not only makes working with bees easier but also minimises unwanted bee mortality. However, it is important to know how bees respond to smoke, how it affects them, how much smoke to use, what type of smoker fuel to use and how to light a smoker. All these things account for judicious use of smoke to subdue bees to make working quick and pleasant.

How bees respond to disturbance A few guard bees patrol every

hive entrance against possible intruders. If the hive is disturbed you will notice an additional bee force rushing to the hive entrance. They look very likely to attack. As soon as a hive is disturbed the bees release an alarm pheromone (Isopentyl acetate) produced by the Nasonov gland located at the tip of the bee’s abdomen, to alert the inmates about the possible danger. When a hive is opened bees respond to this disturbance in a similar way, and pounce upon the person operating. Application of smoke at this stage has almost no merit because infuriated bees in flight have hardly any response to smoke.

How smoke works Before opening a colony for inspection

Use smoke judiciously. Using a little smoke will not affect the bees adversely, but excessive smoke will not only tell upon the longevity of the bee itself but can be detrimental to the overall welfare of the colony: over-smoked bees take several hours (perhaps days) to resume their normal activities. Because of this factor try to keep colony manipulation and use of smoke to a minimum during a honey flow. In addition, a heavily smoked colony may fall prey to robber bees, probably because excessive smoke obscures the hive odour.

Smoker fuel The best smoker fuel is one that is readily available, cheap, once burned continues smouldering without problems of going out, and above all does not injure the bees’ or beekeeper’s health. A variety of material such as gunny cloth, dry leaves, rotten wood, old rags, pine needles, sawdust, straw, cardboard or paper may be used. There is one or the other difficulty with these materials as smoker fuels. Some are hard to burn, while some burn quickly and become hot, some do not produce adequate smoke and above all these go out very often. The best

Accomplish this process steadily otherwise your smoker will go out soon. First ensure that the hearth is in the proper position inside the smoker. Put in a little charcoal. If charcoal is not available, use pieces of dry twig. Light the fire and keep working the bellows until the charcoal or twigs are red hot. At this stage put in a few chips of dried cow dung, and work the bellows until these chips ignite thoroughly. Then pack the smoker tightly with chips. Close the lid. Keep on pumping the bellows for a minute or two. The smoker is now ready for use. During the course of working remove the lid of the smoker and press the chips down. Before all the chips in the smoker have burned remove the lid of the smoker and empty it. Check that the hearth is in the proper position in the smoker. Put back the smouldering chips which will now serve as starter fuel. Pack the smoker in the aforementioned way. In this way you can keep your smoker ever-ready to your liking. Always keep your smoker in the upright position, otherwise it will go out.

F A Shah, Shah Beekeepers, Kursu, Rajbagh, Srinagar 190 008, Kashmir,



IDEAS FOR BETTER BEEKEEPING MANAGEMENT by Antonio Vaca Patino, Cd. Tuxpan, The purpose of this article is not to encourage beekeepers to manage bees without wearing protective clothing but only to explain some elemental observations that may be already known by experienced beekeepers, but could be

helpful to beginners.

Managing bees without a veil may be more for exhibition than effectiveness since it is not always possible in every

Ja., Mexico.

year’s season, month, day or hour, and with many colonies it is completely inadequate and dangerous for the beekeeper. However managing bees without a veil is possible with some colonies when you know their behaviour well. Interrelations between beekeeper and bees depend upon smoker use, smoker fuel, colours of clothes, odours on the beekeeper’s fingers, the size of the colony, climatic

changes, relative humidity, temperature and other factors.

Before approaching any colony observe bees flying from the hive. If forager bees are leaving the hive, and if the day is warm, it is a very good hour to inspect the bees as they are busy with their duties and will not pay attention to the beekeeper’s movements if combs are managed carefully. I find that the best time to work with

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A LOW COST FRAME HIVE FROM PERU by Javier Llaxacondor Huaraz, Peru.



El Callejon

de Huaylas is a 100km long valley in the Andes mountains,

Situated between Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Blanca (near the snow-capped mountain Huascaran). Apiculture is practised here 3500m above sea level, making use of the wild flowers growing at this altitude. Hives are moved around the area, and sheltered places at about 2500m are used for developing nucleus colonies.


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Nat V y cw

Vs\aWith AN

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Brick with entrance hole

To help reduce the costs of beekeep-

ing for local people, a hive made from clay has been developed by Javier Llaxacondor, technical expert of the Primavera Bee Breeding Place, Huaraz. The new hive (illustrated right) takes 26 standard frames; the only difference between the clay hive and a standard timber hive is that the weight of the clay hive (up to 150kg) makes migratory beekeeping impossible. This hive is a modified version of that already used by Cuzco Asociacion Arariwa.


I ent etail


Smallboar| used to

support frames



W *


This August (15-20) the Ancash Beekeepers Association are organising a course on honey quality for beekeepers of El Callejon de Huaylas valley.

bees is between 10.30 to 11.30 a.m.

Do not disturb bees in wet or cloudy days or if there is fog or wind. It is particularly important that smoke used with bees comes from materials which burn very slowly eg: pieces of corncobs or dry cow manure (see above). Do not use dry grass, leaves or straw because these burn very


When using the smoker, take care never to expel glowing sparks into the hive. Smoke softly and continuously among the frames.


Move the frames out slowly a d hold them with your fingers firmly at each end of the frame, taking care not to crush bees. If it is necessary to Jestroy any queen cells the finger’s mov ements must be slow. Never use black gloves for this purpose (it is disastrous it Without gloves is best. Do not mo e your hand quickly in front of the f rames. If you are going to feed the bees, sprinkle a little sugar syrup am mg the frames: the bees should be o cupied sucking these syrup drops. Bees should always be busy with non-de fensive

activities when you are managing them.

ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT: A beehive free from disease, pests, and predators is an extremely docile hive and is appropriate for beekeeping management. WARNING: With necessary caution it is possible to reduce the defensive behaviour of bees but never to eliminate bee stings completely; for this reason it is wise always to use a veil and adequate clothes until you know your bees very well.

Beekeeping Course between February and April 1987 as part of this dynamic campaign for the generation of selfemployment in Grenada. The six-week course took place in the Mirabeau Agricultural Training School and several apiaries and field locations throughout the Island. Six registered students and five attendants were instructed by Ms Patricia Paul, on aspects of Small Business Management, Record Keeping, Insurance and Credit. The technical instruction was conducted by Agronomical Engineer Jorge Murillo Yepes, Field Officer of the National Development Foundation of

BELIZE The Beekeeping Section of the Ministry of Agriculture, Belmopan has prepared a

most useful 82 page publication for beekeepers in Belize: A Guide to Beekeeping. The introduction to the book describes Belize as a paradise for the honeybee, where the warm, humid climate and the many nectar sources provide an environment ideally suited to the production of large quantities of honey. Indeed, Belize honey is in great demand and about 650,000 pounds were exported in 1986 (80% of the total annual

production of Belize). The book describes all the activities necessary for successful beekeeping in Belize with Apis mellifera ligustica, (introduced to Belize from Mexico in 1957) and should help more Belizeans to take up and practise worthwhile beekeeping. The Africanized bee has not yet arrived in Belize, but this book gives information on the type of management which must be employed when it does inevitably arrive.

(Apiaries Officer, National Beekeeping Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, Belmopan, Belize, Central America.)

Jorge Murillo Yepes talking with beekeepers in Grenada information on beekeeping, answers beekeepers’ problems and promotes beekeeping courses and conferences. (Raul Mosquera, Servicie de Extension, Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros.)


The Minor Species Association of Grena-

Each year the Comité-Departamental-deCafeteros-del-Valle-del-Cauca gives

around 30 courses on beekeeping at centres of Integrated Rural Development. 300 or so potential beekeepers attend these courses and in 1986, 5862 new hives of bees were established. Details of these courses and other activities are advertised in Newspaper “Hechos also but Cafeter’, by means of a radio transmitted by la Cooperatiprogramme va de Cafeteros del Norte del Valle. This to programme is transmitted Monday and 6.30 6 to from am, gives Fridays a


da was formed in 1986 with the main aim of promoting useful animal species not commonly reared in Grenada. The Association has particularly focused attention on honeybees, which have tremendous potential in Grenada but at the moment are reared only by a handful of people in a productive and economically satisfactory manner. The beekeepers of the

Association are planning for marketing and packaging of hive products in a co-operative way. The OAS/USAID Youth Skills Training Project implemented its first Practical

Grenada and IBRA Regional Representative. On completion of the Practical Beekeeping Module the students formalized plans for marketing their hive products and for the acquisition of equipment in bulk through the Association’s Beekeeping Division. The National Development Foundation of Grenada Ltd has approved the loan applications presented by the course participants, providing the financial resources required for the importation of equipment necessary to become commercial beekeepers. (Small is Beautiful, Vol. 1, No 2.)

INDIA From the Apiculture Institute in Mahabaleshwar comes a new idea to help beekeepers. Drawn-out supers are hired to local beekeepers before the honey-

flow season, to increase honey production. The supers are taken back by the Institute when honey extraction is complete. Last season 166 supers were supplied to beekeepers who paid a hive charge of Rs4 (US$0.20) per eight frame super, and some beekeepers were able to earn additional income by hiring out their own surplus drawn-out supers. (Bee Science News, Volume 2, No 2.




Note: the above idea should only be practised on a small scale where there is no possibility of spreading disease from one apiary to another.

INDIA Congratulations to the Central Bee Research Institute in Pune which this year celebrates its silver jubilee. Since the sd Institute was established in 1962 it has diversified greatly and now has a wideTanging programme of research and teaches about bees to every level from beginner beekeeper to postgraduate scientist. The Institute moved into new headquarters in 1985 (see Newsletter 7) with excellent facilities for teaching, a library, workshops and research laboratories. (A branch of the IBRA Library is also housed there.) The Institute is celebrating its jubilee with a programme of seminars, workshops, film shows and exhibitions. Further details from: Central Bee Research Institute, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, 1153 Ganeshkind Road, Pune 411 016 India.

INDIA/SRI LANKA An exchange programme for four beekeepers between India and Sri Lanka This is a result of cooperation between the IRED Regional Office in Bangalore, the Asian Institute for Rural Development and Sarrodaya, and an IRED partner in Sri Lanka. (AIRD news, Volume 5, No 10, January 1987.) is being initiated.


small demonstration apiary with 6

Kenya top-bar hives has been established in the Mount Elgon district of Kenya. The project is teaching beekeeping to 15 women’s groups and is being organised by the Swedish Mount Elgon Association (under funding from SIDA).

(Erik Bjorklund, Sweden).

PAKISTAN Located within the National Agricultural Research Centre the new Laboratory will


The new Apicultural Research Laboratory in Islamabad, Pakistan co-ordinate and evaluate apicultural research within Pakistan and provide training in beekeeping. The Laboratory has facilities for research and bee disease and pest diagnosis, and houses a library and museum.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA Apis cerana, Varroa jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps clareae found in Papua New Guinea In December 1986 Apis cerana colonies were identified in Vatimo, West Sepik Province, and it is believed that they had been present since early 1985. These bees have been imported by immigrants from Java, and are now present in Most parts of Irian Jaya. Both Varroa jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps clareae are reported to be present with the bees, and both mite species have spread to Apis mellifera colonies kept in the area. So far no mites have been found in the highlands area, the main beekeeping area of Papua New

Guinea. Local professional beekeepers are ensuring that no colonies are moved to the islands of Papua New Guinea, so

are not usually of a short term nature, this kind of funding can help projects to get going on specific initiatives such as bee breeding or honey processing. Once honey is ready for marketing and income is generated, a project need no longer seek outside funding.

(Evert Jan Robberts)

TANZANIA The Tanzania Beekeepers’ Association (TABEA) has been formed, largely through the efforts of Mr G Ntenga, retired Director of Beekeeping in Tanzania. The Association’s role is to coordinate and mobilize the vast experience of

traditional beekeepers and, with others involved in modern beekeeping, set a common strategy for development of the Tanzanian beekeeping industry. (Ephraim Kilon, Forest and Beekeeping Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.)


new company has been formed in Western Samoa: The Samoa Bee & Co. Ltd. The Company has that at least some areas can be main- Honey started its own queen breeding programtained disease free. me (using Apis mellifera ligustica) and (Bernhard Wedenig, Honey Producers 1000 hives are already established, with Pty Ltd, Papua New Guinea). plans to increase to 5000 hives by 1990: these will be sited on the two major Note: It is unusual to find Tropilaelaps islands, Upolu and Savaii. The bees clareae associated with Apis cerana. forage on a large variety of flowers, but predominant species are tamarind, Mimosa pudica, coconut, cocoa and citrus. Local people are being taught how to PHILIPPINES benefit from the three honey harvests Recently a beekeeping project in the which can be obtained each year. The Philippines obtained funding from the islands are fortunate in having no bee Dutch Embassy in Manila. The Dutch diseases, and a government wise enough Embassy has a “Small Fund Embassy to ensure that customs regulations preProgramme” which permits one-off vent the introduction of bee diseases grants of up to Dfl.15000 for short term from elsewhere. projects. Although beekeeping projects (Thomas Rudnick)


In the last edition of Newsletter, a list of beekeeping development programmes run by FAO was published, which international agency, IDRC. In many readers found of interest. Below are given details of projects funded by another recent years IDRC has also funded a number of important IBRA publications such as the Source Materials for Apiculture leaflets and the Directory of Important World Honey Sources.

Aid Agency: International Development Research Centre. IDRC is a public corporation created and financed by the Parliament of Cana-

da to support research to adapt science and technology to the needs of

developing countries.

Country: Malaysia Project Title: Beekeeping (Malaysia) Objectives of the Assistance: Since 1981, a group of scientists led by Mr Makhdzir Mardan of Universiti Pertanian Malaysia and including researchers from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) and Department of Agriculture has been conducting research into bee botany, management and breeding in order to promote the industry within the country. As a part of their project, the Malaysian scientists introduced modern methods of hiving bees in boxes with movable frames to more than 400 people living in the rural areas of the country. Several of them have since set up their own beekeeping schools training over 100 other beekeepers per year. All of them are now supplementing their income from their newly acquired skills. The project was supported by a research grant of about 360000

Ringgit from IDRC.


has earlier this year made a second research grant of about 400000 Ringgit to support the second phase of the researcher’s work. Over the next four years Mr Makdzir and his fellow scientists will continue to encourage the growth of beekeeping in their country. The emphasis of their scientific work will be on hive management; bee breeding; pests and diseases; honey analysis; bee botany; beekeeping under rubber trees. They will also carry out research into giant bees and will at the same time be studying the economics 6

‘Gelodok’ hive as used in Malaysia. Two hollow halves of coconut tree stem are joined by planks nailed at each end. ‘Gelodoks’ are usually two to three feet long, and top bars like those in Kenya top-bar hives are used. A few beekeepers use double storey ‘gelodoks’ for supering. ‘Gelodoks’ made out of young coconut tree trunks are lighter and do not last for more than three years while those made of older tree trunks can last twice as long but cost 20-30% more to make. Price differences are due to the extra labour costs in cutting the harder, older trunks. Makhdzir Mardan, Jabatan Perlindungan Tumbuhan, Universiti Pertanian,


of the industry.

Location: University Pertanian, Selangor.

Country: Colombia Project Title: Africanized Bees Objectives of the Assistance: Honey production in Colombia has declined since the arrival of Africanized bees. A better understanding of the defence behaviour of Africanized bees can lead to management practises and hive designs that will exploit the more aggressive harvesting habit of the Africanized bee for increased

honey production. The project (started in 1981) is identifying

beekeeping techniques suitable for the management of Africanized bees on small farms in Colombia.

Location: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin.

Ailanthus—A Surplus Honey Source Until a few years ago beekeepers in Kashmir were dependent on autumn honey production from a wild plant species Plectranthus rugosus. The spring honey source Robinia pseudoacacia was utilized for colony build-up and multiplication. However, spring honey production has now become a regular feature as the potential of Robinia is realised. This has removed the total dependence on autumn honey production and has improved the beekeeper’s lot. However, beekeepers have yet to realise the value of another plant species

Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven). This exotic plant species is widely grown in Kashmir for afforestation, to stop soil erosion, as an avenue plant, and for firewood. Ailanthus comes into bloom in the second fortnight of May and continues flowering until the first week of June. Bees collect both nectar and pollen from the flowers of this tree, and each colony collects (on average) 6Kg of surplus honey from this source. The honey is amber, with a strong flavour, and a moisture content of 20-22 percent.

(F A Shah, Shah Beekeepers, Kursu, Rajbagh, Strinagar, 190 008, Kashmir).

Beekeeping in the Gambia: a project organised by ActionAid—The Gambia, and co-financed by ODA ActionAid—the Gambia is

a nongovernment organisation which began work in 1980. ActionAid’s objectives are to assist rural communities to improve their standard of living by undertaking small-scale development projects in villages where the organisation sponsors primary school children. ActionAid believes that real advances in the quality of village life cannot be sustained if dependency is created on outside agencies. ActionAid therefore only becomes involved in projects for which the need has already been perceived by the villagers, and where the conStraints are not too great. In the Gambia, beekeeping fulfils these requirements and ActionAid has been involved with the development of beekeeping there since 1982, when the first pilot scheme was established. Villagers soon found that compared with other income-generating projects, beekeeping is a less labourintensive commercial venture, capable of supplementing rural income. By 1985, thirteen apiary groups with a total of 200 hives had harvested 1,103 litres of honey in four harvests, providing an average income of $US 349 for each group. In 1985 ActionAid obtained cofinancing from ODA for a three-year project to allow assistance to 49 villages and 82 schools expressing enthusiasm and interest to start beekeeping. The project has four main objectives:





A ‘Beekunda’ (bee compound) consisting of three huts within an enclosure to accommodate (1) an office for the beekeeping assistant, (2) a storage hut for materials, honey and wax, and (3) a hut for the processing of honeycomb. tion of beekeeping into the

school curriculum.

Beneficiaries The direct beneficiaries of the project are the 49 local beekeepers and the 2940 members of Village Apiary Groups, receiving training in beekeeping with top-bar hives. Other

beekeepers and enable them to produce better quality honey and wax.

beneficiaries are the 12300 schoolchildren at the 82 Action Aid-assisted schools who receive beekeeping instruction as part of their school curriculum.


To generate income in rural communities.

Progress so far


To assist ‘Kafo’s (co-operatives)


To upgrade the skills of local

to build Beekundas (bee compounds) by providing the necessary materials such as cement, nails etc. The ‘Kafo’s providing labour. 4.

To assist schools in gaining greater financial and nutritional independence through the introduc-


Beekeeping has now become an activity which attracts a great deal of attention and is increasingly popular.

As well

as generating extra income,

honey has medicinal value and is a good substitute for sugar which is often scarce. One problem encountered by the project has been in obtaining sufficient timber for the construction of beehives. In addition,

by assisting villagers in marketing honey, ActionAid encouraged overdependency on the project, and local competition in the market place was too great for the beekeepers to cope with. This problem was overcome by a change of marketing strategy: instead of importing honey jars for supermarkets, the beekeepers sell their honey in the open markets using standard cup measurements. This project provides an example of successful beekeeping development: the original project objectives were not Over-optimistic, and sufficient time has been allowed for beekeeping to spread slowly as villagers see their neighbours undertaking this worthwhile activity. ActionAid has ensured throughout that it is local people who instigate activity: project managers are elected by villagers, and these managers show a lot of enthusiasm and commitment, and have succeeded in improving the smooth-running of projects. 7

CANDLE-MAKING (Part I, Burning materials and the wick was published in Newsletter 9. The full article is taken from Candle Making in a Small Workroom by Frank Elsen and Pol Janssens of the ATOL Foundation in Leuven, Belgium. The full article first appeared in VRAAGBAAK Vol 14 No 2.


is now

Part Il: The Dipping Method = 4)



Candle making by the dipping method gives many possibilities: all! lengths and thicknesses of candles can be obtained and a hundred to more than a thousand candles per day can be made under relatively simple work conditions and using home-made appliances. Dipping works as follows: the wick is hung vertically and dipped into liquid (warm) wax, taken out and cooled. The wick at this point has a layer of wax on it. This process is repeated until the desired thickness is achieved. The length of the wick determines the length of the candle. The oldest method of dipping is by using two sticks of around 2cm diameter and 80-100cm long. On these two sticks the wicks are hung as in fig 1. Attach a weight to the bottom end of the suspended wicks, to ensure straight candles (any small piece of metal will serve as a weight). Wax or paraffin should be warmed up in one or more large pans, so that the suspended wicks can be easily dipped into them. Both sticks (or rods) should be kept a distance apart from each other so that they can easily be taken out and placed back into the pans. This is done using the middle and fore fingers. One can also fasten crossrods to the main sticks to maintain the correct distance from one another. With a bit of inventiveness one can place many containers beside each other so that using two rods more than ten candles can be dipped. By changing and rotating several pairs of rods, one can easily produce hundreds of candles per day. At the beginning two rods with suspended candles do not weigh much, but by the last dipping they may weigh 1 to 2kg; the dipping itself 8



takes about 10 seconds and should be done very quickly. If one works with more than two rods at a time, one must take into consideration the strain it gives to one’s arms; especially if working with paraffins where, to achieve an even thickness, an even greater number of dippings must be made than when using beeswax. Arm-muscles are known to complain when using the dipping technique! Do consider your back and set the containers in a way that allows you to work with a straight back (for example, wax height 80cm above the ground). When working with beeswax consider the following:

The first dipping is of the bare wick,

and it may take 1 minute to ensure that all the air escapes out of the wick. The following dippings take 5 to 10 seconds (longer, and the wax melts back off again!). Between dippings the hardening/cooling-off time takes 3 minutes at the beginning and around 10 minutes at the end when the candle is thicker. To achieve a well-formed dipped candle, it is important that it is always dipped to the same depth. The movement in the dipping must also be continuous and smooth. Jerking movements or irregularity will show on the final candle, either as ring-form bands, or thick and thin areas. If the dipping movement is too quick then the new wax layer does not have the chance to adhere properly to the last layer of wax. This creates a grained surface on the candle with light and dark

blotches. This effect could be used deliberately during the last few dippings depending on one’s decorative ideas. In the workplace where candles are dipped, be careful that there is as little air movement as possible, and no draughts. It is not always easy to limit this, considering heating systems that demand fresh air. A draught is a problem, not only as we have already mentioned because of impurities, but also it causes the wax on the suspended candles to dry faster on one side, producing slanting candles. These candles do give light, but no one will want to buy them! In airy conditions, these various factors could cause a loss of about 10% or more.

Wax dyes

If you are dipping with a pale wax or

paraffin, during the last few dippings you can use a container to which colouring matter has been added. This way the candle has a shine on the outside. You can acquire deeper colours by adding dyes to all the wax, and in this case the inside of the candle will be coloured too.

Finishing touches The candles are taken off the rods, after which the pairs of candles, attached by the wicks, can be easily hung somewhere to harden. After 24 hours of hardening, the blunt bottom, above the weight hanging on the wick, is cut off with a sharp knife.

The weights can be recycled by melting the cut-off stumps.

Technical expansion If and when circumstances allow,

candle production can be expanded. With a relatively small amount of material a construction can be built which allows 1000-10000 candles per day to be made. This method of production is actually a technical improvement of the dipping which is described above. The first alteration is the attachment of the wicks to the top and bottom of the frame. Instead of hanging loosely, the wicks are spanned across a metal frame (fig. 2). The distance between wicks is determined by the thickness of the candle plus an extra centimetre in between. In the case of a candle with a 2cm diameter, the distance between can be adjusted by loosening the screws (e) and (f) so that the upper bar can be moved along the two side rods to the desired height. We can thus determine the length of the candle. The metal frame has hooks along the top and bottom so that the wick can be spanned in one piece. The wick Only has to be knotted on the first and last hooks. The whole frame can be dipped in the liquid wax and brought up again; the first dipping takes 1 minute, and subsequent dipPings take 5-10 seconds. During the first dipping the wax temperature can be a bit higher (more than 70°C) and during the following dippings lower (65°C). When using beeswax, the hardening time is about 3 minutes between each dipping. When using Paraffins, the time is 3-5 minutes and when the candle diameter is 2cm or bigger it can be more in the area of 10 Minutes. The layers, when using beeswax, are about 0.5mm thick, this is a bit more than when using paraffin Mixtures (O.3mm).

A few tips 1.

The higher the wax temperature, the more rounds of dipping are needed to achieve a given thickness of candle, since less wax is left behind.


The longer the time between dipping (ie: the longer the time that candles are cooled), the more wax they will take up, and

thus less dipping is necessary to achieve the candle diameter.






Try to ensure proper air circula-

tion; a low air temperature shortens hardening time, but do take care to prevent slanting candles. The whole process becomes more efficient when one has a series of frames that can be alternately dipped. With 10 frames, one can efficiently make 200-300 candles a day.

Wax tends to collect on the side rods of the frames. This must be removed with a knife (eg. regularly every 5th dipping). The wax that collects at the base of

the frame is left so that it forms a whole with the foot of each candle. When the dipping is finished, hang the frame with its bottom edge in wax, with the surface of the wax just above the hooks, for 10 minutes. In this way the wax at the bottom melts away and the candles can be removed from the hooks. Leave the candles hanging for 1 day to harden.

weight etc, as in the traditional method. A disadvantage of using the frame method is the larger size of wax container needed and the time necessary for melting the wax that has accumulated at the bottom of the frames. When using frames it is important that dipping is done with a smooth, flowing movement. Candles made in this way have a slight cone form, narrowing towards the wick. When making candles longer than 30cm one must take care that the wax temperature does not become too high in the containers, or the time between dippings too short. In this case the candle would become cone-formed, narrowing towards the bottom. The bottom part becomes too warm, and less wax is left behind.

(Part III: Expansion to a carousel, to be continued in the next edition of Newsletter).

This system of using frames has a

number of practical advantages: the wicks are spanned, thus there is no problem of slanting products. The spanning of the wicks takes less time than measuring the wicks, attaching a

ATOL, Studie en documentatiecentrum voor ‘aangepaste’ technologie in ontwikkelingslanden, Blijde Inkomstraat 9, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.



BOOKSHELF Beekeeping: Some tools for agriculture

Some tools for. agriculture

Introduced by Eva Crane Intermediate Technology Publications* 1987 22 pages, paperback, ISBN 0-946688-88-5 In 1985 Intermediate Technology published “Tools for agriculture: a buyer’s guide to appropriate equipment”, a valuable source of information about equipment available for farming on a small scale, and where such equipment can be purchased. Chapter 12: “Beekeeping” has now been reproduced as a single volume with the title shown above. A general introduction summarises the problems facing farmers in developing countries. and Eva Crane has provided a short discussion of beekeeping in the tropics and subtropics, describing the various levels of beekeeping management practised, views of when it can be appropriate to purchase beekeeping equipment from a supplier outside the country of the purchaser, and a description of the current world honey industry. This is followed by eleven pages detailing various items of equipment and where they may be obtained (listing suppliers in 32 countries). Because many users

@ @ @

introduced by Eva Crane


of the catalogue are likely to live in areas outside those where movable-frame Apis mellifera beekeeping is practised, the catalogue is arranged in the order:

items useful for any type of beekeeping (protective clothing, smokers, hive tools) items used only in movable-frame beekeeping (hives and fittings) items used for handling hive products (honey and beeswax extractors etc).

This publication is available from


price 4.20

Kiongozi Cha Ufugaji Wa Nwyuki The Beekeeping Handbook by

Bernhard Clauss which is already available in English and Setswana has recently been translated into Swahili for use in Tanzania. The new title is: Kiongozi cha ufugaji wa nyuki. The translation was completed by Mr Paul Nnyiti, and printing costs were funded by GTZ, the German Aid Agency. The new edition has been printed with careful attention to layout and reproduction of photographs, and will provide a valuable aid for extension workers. Congratulations to all involved with this worthwhile project. Further details from GTZ, DagHammarskjold-Weg 1, D6236 Eschborn 1, German Federal Republic.

including postage.

The Intermediate Technology Group (IT DG) was rounded in 1965 by the late Dr E.F. Schumacher. The Group is an independent charity which helps to in roduce technologies suitable for rural communities in developing coun ries. Intermediate Technology Publications is the publishing arm of ITDG and is based at 9 King Street, London, WC2E 8HW, UK. Intermediate Technology has published two other useful books on beekeeping (these were described more fully in Newsletter-6): The Golden Insect by Stephen Adjare. 104 pages, 1984. A basic introduction to beekeeping for beginners in Africa, with descriptions of how to build and use a top-bar hive. Available from IBRA, price 6.70 including postage. Lost Wax Casting by Wilburt Feinburg. 74 pages, 1983. Lost wax casting is method for making a precise replica of an object by casting it in metal. This manual is written for craft-workers, based on the author’s experience of working in countries where the ideal materials are not always readily available. Available from IBRA, price 7.15 including postage. a


Please note, the publications described above are not available free of charge from


VII Brazil Congress: the latest on Varroa jacobsoni


The 1987 International Beekeepin The following summary of information presented at the recent Congress (7-11 October Workshop at the University of Scier. 1986) is prepared by William Ramirez B, Escuela de Fitotecnia, Universidad de Costa ce and Technology, Kumasi, ha Rica. De Jong’ gave a review of the Varroa problem. According to him: “In general

it appears that in cold and temperate climates, the populations of Varroa grow without limit to the point of killing colonies of bees. However, in tropical climates the infestations persist in moderate levels causing reductions in the production but not the colony death”. Issa and Goncalves” presented a short paper about the reaction of Varroa jacobSoni to external stimuli. Mites are able to detect bee larvae at short range (about 3mm or less; few mites react at distances of 4.5mm). Another evident reaction of female Varroa is to air currents (especially human breathing air). The mite turned 180° towards the stimulus.

Ramirez’ presented the results of combating Varroa with dusts. He reported

that Varroa, as well as feather, hair and skin mites parasitic on other animals have tarsal pads which allow them to adhere to the substrate. When Varroa comes into contact with dust on bees and the hive, the dust adheres to the pads, this results in the mites losing their points of attachment and equilibrium, and dropping from the bees and combs to the bottom of the hive, where they die or are carried away by small ants. Once a female Varroa turns on her back, she cannot right herself. 50cc of a variety of products were dusted on hives. Glucose reduced the population of phoretic mites by 100%; pollen substitute (Proteinni) by 97%; ground leaves of Casuarina cunninghamiana by 95%; and ground pollen by 87%. The results were obtained 14 hours after the application of the products. Other bee mites eg Euvarroa sinhai, Tropilaelaps clareae and T. koenigerum also have tarsal pads like those found in Varroa and could also be controlled with dusts. Message ef al* described the effect of

Varroa jacobsoni on honey production by Africanized bees over a 15 month period. The average infestation on the hives was 5.5% and 9.9% for brood and adult bees Tespectively. There was a positive correlation between the amount of honey produced and the rate of infestation in the adult bees when the infestations were low. It was found that the correlation was

indirectly due to the amount of capped brood. They concluded that Varroa is not affecting honey production by Africanized bees. Peixote? described the use of a dry formula composed of one part Fitalomicina and five parts refined sugar, which is dusted over the frames to prevent and cure sacbrood, European foul brood and possibly American foul brood in “‘belas rainhas duradas” (probably Italian bees). He informed that ‘normally, with the first three applications of dust the hive will be cured”’. It was announced at the symposium that thirty years after the introduction of the African bee in Brazil, European bees and Varroa jacobsoni had been simultaneously introduced to the island Fernando de Loronha, Brazil, to try and develop strains of European bees resistant to Varroa.

been postponed until 13-19 Septem ber 1987. The Workshop was origi nally scheduled for 5 -11 July 1987 The fee (which covers board, lodg ing, field trips and literature) i US$290. Send written applicatio: and payment (to arrive by 9 August) to The Director, Technology Consul-

tancy Centre, University of Science and Technology, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana.

USA International Beekeeping Seminar VII, The Ohio State University and USDA, 20-31 July 1987. Further information from: Dr James Tew,

Agricultural Technical Institute,

Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA. Cable:


PERU See page 3.

References 1.


De Jong,D.; 1986. Uma Visao Mun-

dial do problema “Varroa”. VII Congresso Brasileiro de Apicultura. Salvador. Bahia, Brasil: 53. 2.

Issa,M.R.C.; Gonglaves,L.C.;


Reagao do acaro Varroa jacobsoni a estimulos externos. VII Congresso Brasileiro de Apicultura. Savador Bahia, Brasil: 53-54. 3.

Ramirez,B.W.; Otis,G.W.; 1986.

Developmental phases in the life cycle of Varroa jacobsoni, an ectoparasitic mite on honeybees. Bee World 67 (3): 92-97. 4.

Message,D.; da Silva,H.; Gongal1986. Efeito do dcaro Varroa jacobsoni na produgao de mel em colonias de abelhas africanizadas (Apis mellifera). VII Congresso Brasileiro de Apicultura. Salvador Bahia, Brasil: 55-56,



Peixote,P.P.; 1986. Fitalomicina: uma esperanga no combate a mortalidade de larvas de Apis mellifera. VII Congresso Brasileiro de Apicultura. Salvador, Bahia, Brasil: 54.

International Apicultural Congress, APIMONDIA, Warsaw, Poland, 1925 August, 1987. Further information from: National Organising Committee of the XXXIst International Apicultural Congress, Al. Stanow Zjednogzonych 51, 03-965 Warsaw, Poland.

VENEZUELA 2nd Convention of Apiculture, San Cristébal, Edo. Tachira, September/ 7-11 1987. Further inf yrmation from: Lic P Vit Olivier, U tiversid de los Andes,



Farmacia, Depar-

tamento de Bromatologia, Merida,


Please —If you are planning a bee keeping event and you would like tm entione d here, then please send details well in advance of the date of the event.


HAVE YOU MOVED? Please let us know if your address has changed, by giving your new address in the space below. Then send this whole page (with mailing label still attached) to Dr Nicola Bradbear, IBRA, 18 North Road, Cardiff, CF1 3DY, UK.





MAY 1987

for beekeepers in tropical & subtropical countries This Newsletter is edited by Dr Nicola Bradbear, Information Officer for Tropical Apiculture at the International Bee Research Association (IBRA), and is produced under funding from the Overseas and these are Development Administration, UK. There are two editions of the Newsletter each year sent, free of charge, to those in developing countries who are involved with beekeeping. Views expressed in the Newsletter are not necessarily those of the International Bee Research Association. Contributions, letters and news of forthcoming events are welcomed; these may be edited for reasons of space and clarity. Many thanks to everyone who has sent information and articles; some items have had to be held over for the next edition. If you have any enquiries about beekeeping and the information you need is not available locally, then write to me here at IBRA and will try to help you. Aldlu Rradbear |

If undelivered, please return to: International Bee Research Association, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK. PRINTED PAPER