7 minute read

News

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.)

COLOMBIA

Each year the Comité-Departamental-de- Cafeteros-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 a Newspaper “Hechos Cafeter’, but also by means of a radio programme transmitted by la Cooperativa de Cafeteros del Norte del Valle. This programme is transmitted Monday to Fridays from 6 to 6.30 am, and gives information on beekeeping, answers beekeepers’ problems and promotes beekeeping courses and conferences. (Raul Mosquera, Servicie de Extension, Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros.)

GRENADA

The Minor Species Association of Grenada 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 Beekeeping Course between February and April 1987 as part of this dynamic campaign for the generation of self-employment 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 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. CBRI.)

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 Institute was established in 1962 it has diversified greatly and now has a wide- Tanging 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: Central Bee Research Institute, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, India.

INDIA/SRI LANKA

An exchange programme for four beekeepers between India and Sri Lanka is being initiated. 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.)

KENYA

A 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 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 that at least some areas can be maintained disease free.

(Bernhard Wedenig, Honey Producers Pty Ltd, Papua New Guinea).

Note: It is unusual to find Tropilaelaps clareae associated with Apis cerana.

PHILIPPINES

Recently a beekeeping project in the Philippines obtained funding from the Dutch Embassy in Manila. The Dutch Embassy has a “Small Fund Embassy Programme” which permits one-off grants of up to Dfl.15000 for short term projects. Although beekeeping projects 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.)

WESTERN SAMOA

A new company has been formed in Western Samoa: The Samoa Bee & Honey Co. Ltd. The Company has started its own queen breeding programme (using Apis mellifera ligustica) and 1000 hives are already established, with plans to increase to 5000 hives by 1990: these will be sited on the two major islands, Upolu and Savaii. The bees 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 benefit from the three honey harvests which can be obtained each year. The islands are fortunate in having no bee diseases, and a government wise enough to ensure that customs regulations prevent the introduction of bee diseases from elsewhere.

(Thomas Rudnick)