Bees for Development Journal Edition 11 - November 1987

Page 1



for beekeepers in tropical & subtropical countries ee The 31st Apimondia Congress took place in Warsaw, Poland in August. Po-

Polish honey on display at the Apimondia Congress

VARROA REACHES THE USA Infestation of honeybee colonies with the mite Varroa jacobsoni has been confirmed in the States of Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The USDA has immediately brought emergency quarantine conditions into effect and implemented extensive surveys.


Stop press: IBRA has now been informed that

Varroa has been identified in Saskatchewan, Canada and a further seven states in the USA.

land provided an excellent venue for the Congress, as beekeeping is popular and widely practised by Polish people, with 210 000 beekeepers owning 2 500 000 colonies of bees. The Congress was held in the Palace of Culture, a large building in the centre of Warsaw, with ample space for the 5 500 attending. During the 7 day Congress some 350 lectures were presented on apitherapy, bee biology, bee pathology, beekeeping economy, beekeeping in developing countries, beekeeping technology and equipment, and melliferous flora and pollination. For the first time at Apimondia, an additional symposium on Apis cerana was also held, with interesting papers on the biology of A. cerana presented by delegates from Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand: the success of this symposium should ensure that it becomes a permanent feature of future congresses. Different poster sessions were held each day, and delegates had the opportunity for open discussions during the round table meetings. The Organising Committee arranged excellent technical trips, which covered the length and breadth of the country allowing delegates to appreciate the skill and enthusiasm of Polish beekeepers. Most rear their own queens,

Con't on page The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide beekeeping information, particularly on low-technology tropical techniques, and up-to-date details of events, publications, projects underway and new ideas in the beekeeping world. There are two editions of the Newsletter each year and these are available free of charge to those in developing countries involved with beekeeping. Throughout the tropics beekeeping is practised in many different ways using techniques ranging from traditional methods which may not have changed for thousands of years, to highly sophisticated modern techniques. Items in the Newsletter will not always be pertinent to beekeeping as it is practised in your area, but | hope that you will find something to stimulate your interest: if you have developed a new technique or item of equipment which works well, why not share it with others? Your contributions and news are always welcomed. Modern, efficient techniques need not always be expensive or highly sophisticated and in this edition of Newsletter you will find items on living hive supports, the use of puff balls, cappings processing and details of a very low-technology hive being used in Zaire. In this edition there are also details of conferences recently held, and of those planned for the future, of new publications, and news of projects and ideas from around the world. In the central pages you will find a questionnaire. This has been prepared by ODA, who fund my own work here at IBRA, including the Newsletter’s preparation and distribution. The purpose of the questionnaire is to determine whether you find this Newsletter and the Information Service provided useful: I would be most grateful if you could spend a few minutes completing the questionnaire, and then return it to us here at IBRA. As always, if you have any queries about beekeeping and the information you need is not available locally, then write to me here at IBRA and I will try to help you. Nicola Bradbear Information Officer for Tropical Apiculture


International Bee Research Association, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF! 3DY,

TIntornatinnal Ree Revsenrcrh Acenriatinn






taining honey in place of sugar, various honey wines and non-alcoholic drinks, spreads consisting of honey, milk, vanilla and/or chocolate, and various mix-



a The theme of the Apimondia Congress was The honeybee and the protection of our environment: this monument was erected in Kielce to celebrate this, bearing the engraving ‘where the bees cannot live, humans cannot survive”.

and bee breeding has been highly developed: there are 15 bee breeding stations and 174 reproduction stations rearing 50 000 queens for honey- producing apiaries. The State is supportive towards beekeeping with 9 university apicultural departments, departments of beekeeping in all agricultural colleges and even high schools where children can specialise in beekeeping. Poland has 5 beekeeping cooperatives which process and market honey, wax and other hive products on behalf of beekeepers. The cooperatives produce impressive ranges of attractively packaged goods. The use of hive products has been extended, for example in the manufacture of fruit conserves con-




honey/pollen. it is sometirnes suggested that pollen should be used as a valuable source of protein where food is scarce: perhaps by mixing it with honey as in Poland, it could be made more readily acceptable to children? An exhibition of trade stands known as APIEXPO is held throughout the Congress. As part of this, the Polish Beekeeper’s Association arranged an exhibition: Polish Apiculture Yesterday and Today. This described the evolution of beekeeping in Poland: in ancient times bees were kept in holes in trees, later logs containing the bee colonies were moved to the vicinities of homes, gardens and orchards, and gradually these log hives were developed and improved into the modern frame hives used in Poland today. After a week of discussion and exchange between beekeeping officers and scientists, commercial and private beekeepers, equipment manufacturers and traders of the various hive products, the Congress closed with the agreement of Resolutions, and a successful bid by Brazil to host the next Congress.

WORKSHOP ON PARASITIC MITES AND THEIR CONTROL Following on after the Apimondia Congress, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) organised a Workshop to discuss the mite species parasitic upon honeybees which are currently causing so much concern worldwide. 27 delegates representing 18 developing countries participated in the Workshop along with 13 other experts from Europe, Japan and USA. Of the three mite species particularly detrimental to honeybee colonies: Acarapis woodi, Tropilaelaps clareae and Varroa Jacobsoni, it is Varroa which is causing most concern worldwide. With Varroa recently reported in the USA (see page 1), the mite is now present in 56 countries. Dr Ritter described the biology of the mite, and delegates from countries where the mite is present discussed the various methods they use to combat the mite. These methods either involve chemical or colony management methods, or a combination of both, but no single, totally effective method has yet been proved. Chemical methods are widely used, particularly in Asia where all three species of mite are found, and Professor Borneck listed almost 100 chemical preparations currently suggested for Varrea treatment. Of these, bromopropilate, Amitraz, and formic acid are widely used, and the Workshop recommended that these be employed where the use of chemicals is unavoidable. However chemicals must never be used during a honey flow, and will be ineffective if sealed brood is present. Also the widespread use of chemicals in beekeeping is undesirable and may jeopardise the reputation of honey as a natural, health-promoting, and chemical-free product. For these reasons the Workshop strongly recommended that wherever possible non-chemical methods of mite treatment are employed. Useful colony management (or biological) methods include the destruction of infested drone comb, or the continuous removal of infested worker combs to which the queen has been confined. Professor Morse described the apparent lower susceptibility of Africanized bees to Varroa, and the influence of climate upon the reproduction of Varroa: these are two factors which may contribute towards finding a more ideal biological solution to the problem. The mite Tropilaelaps clareae has still only been reported from 14 countries, but where it is found in A. mellifera colonies with V. jacobsoni also present, Tropilaelaps is considered the more serious of the two pests. Tropilaclaps has received far less research interest than Varroa, but fortunately two of the main proponents of Tropilaelaps research, Professors Akratanakul and Woyke were present at the Workshop and provided recent research findings. Professor Woyke has recently shown that Tropilaelaps populations grow faster than Varroa, and this may explain their more severe effect upon colonies. The Workshop recommended that further research on Tropilaelaps should be undertaken; and appropriate legislation prepared and enforced: an increased distribution of Tropilaelaps around the world can only be detrimental. Acarapis woodi is a mite which has been spread from Europe to many parts of the world following its initial discovery in England in 1921. It can be controlled well with Folbex VA treatment, and recently in the USA menthol vapour has been found highly successful. In Europe the presence of Acarapis is no longer regarded as seriously as was once the case. The Workshop provided an excellent opportunity for discussion and exchange of experience as delegates from developing countries gave reports on the current state of beekeeping and the honeybee mite situation in their home countries. Most of subsaharan Africa is fortunate in not yet suffering from the presence of honeybee mites, and delegates from this area expressed the hope that this happy situation will not change. It is often recommended that countries of the world should work together to pool knowledge and combat the further spread of honeybee mites: this FAO/PAS Workshop provided a worthwhile opportunity for this to take place.


In February 1987, while was working with FAO in Honduras on Africanized bees , had the opportunity to see the most simple and cheap pollen trap have across during 30 years of come beekeeping. The pollen trap was shown to me by Mr Alonso Suazo Caliz, a beekeeper assistant at the Escuela Agricola |



A simple pollen trap with a bamboo collector drawer by William Ramirez B, Facultad de Agronomia, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica.

AY Bamba

pollen collectoi

Panamericana, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. To make the pollen trap: find a bamboo section of the same length as the front of your hive (for Langstroth use a piece approximately 40cm long) and 10cm in diameter: slice the bamboo longitudinally into two halves. These two halves provide two drawers. Cut a section of wire screen (10 x 40)cm with a gauge of 2.5mm and attach it horizontally to the bamboo drawers. Slide the hive brood chamber forward over the bottom board to the end of the landing board. Cut a section of wire screen (5 x 40)cm with a gauge of 5mm and attach it vertically closing the entrance of the hive (A). Hang the drawer under the hive entrance and the pollen trap is ready to work. Finally, use a thin strip of board to close the opening at the back of the hive (B) left open when the brood chamber was pushed forward.

Automatic Capping Separator by Kalman Chaim, Bee Farm-Honey, Near Moshav Gan Haim, PO Box Kfar Saba, Israel. When honey from a frame hive is to be harvested, the wax cappings covering the honeycomb must be carefully removed, before the frame is inserted into the extractor. This technique is known as uncapping. Cappings are made from wax freshly produced by the bees and if carefully melted down, blocks of fresh, pure, light-coloured beeswax of very high quality can be prepared. Such beeswax will fetch the best price on the world market. An important preliminary step is to separate the wax cappings from the honey accidentally removed along with the cappings. In hot countries where large amounts of honey are being extracted the following simple, inexpensive method can be useful. This method is currently used in Israel. After a night of draining most of the honey from the cappings the whole of the cappings and remaining honey attached to them are dumped into a large drum of approximately 200 litres capacity. This drum must have at its base either a 5cm closable opening or ‘honey-gate’, and inside at the bottom should contain a round, screening plate approximately 15cm smaller in diameter than the drum and standing on legs approximately 20cm high. The drum must of course have a tightfitting lid, and inside must be lacquered or painted white with a good quality epoxy paint. The outside of the drum must be painted black or another dark, heat absorbing colour. The drum containing the cappings is placed outside in a sunny spot: the sun warms up the contents of the drum and the honey flows to the bottom. Every two days we remove the honey that has drained down inside the drum: if the honey is not removed frequently then it may be overheated and become dark. From each drum we can obtain 120-140Kg of packable honey, having the same characteristics as extracted honey. After 20 or 30 hot days, the remaining cappings are dry, and can be melted down by the usual methods.

Living hive supports for bee hives in the tropics by Trevor Chandler*, Landscope Consulting Corporation, PO Box 198, Lillooet, BC VOK 1V0, Canada. A challenge to all beekeepers in the tropics is to find suitable supports for beehives. Traditional hives in many tropical areas are hung in trees and lowered down only for harvesting. As beekeeping is modernized, hive densities increase and intensive management requires more frequent hive inspections. A good hive support needs to: be high enough to keep the hive above the weeds and ground dwelling pests 2. be low enough to allow hive inspection and harvesting without climbing trees be strong enough to hold a hive full of honey in a level position be resistant to termites and rot be inexpensive and easy to obtain be able to form a barrier to crawling bee pests such as ants when necesWw


sary. In my years of working with African bees and beekeepers, have seen many clever designs, but no perfect ones. Recently while working in Uganda, however, saw some excellent examples of traditional beekeepers using their considerable knowledge of the resources in their environments to develop effective, inexpensive and permanent hive supports for both traditional and top-bar type hives. They were using living posts as hive supports. Living hive supports are an example of agroforestry and apiculture coming together. Agroforestry refers to land use systems and practises in which woody perennials are deliberately grown on the same land management unit as crops or animals. The multiple use of trees is important in agroforestry. Trees are valuable to beekeepers not only because their flowers produce nectar, but trees also provide shade for the hives, materials to construct hives, living fences to protect hives from large animals and living hive supports to hoid hives off the ground. In Uganda, at least two of the species of trees used for living fences are used for living hive supports: 1. Ficus natalensis, the bark cloth fig tree, grows well throughout the moist highland areas of East Africa. It is used for living fences because it will grow from a large cutting or stake

ee A


Newly established traditional hive on Ficus support. Note: support has not yet started to grow.







se Pied!en 4,

Traditional hives on Ficus supports.

inserted into the ground at the beginning of the rain season. It is also used as a shade tree in coffee plantations and grazing areas. Its leaves make an excellent soil building mulch and, as its common name implies, its bark is used to make cloth.


Erythrina abyssinica, one of over 110 species of coral trees in the world, is a member of the legume family well known for its ability to improve soils by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Large sections of stem take root readily and, being thorny, it is commonly used as a living fence post. It


YAK cn

ae ane

Box hive on Ficus supports. is an excellent shade tree and a very attractive red flowered ornamental. Its leaves are fed to animals.

Both these trees are used in two ways as living hive supports: 1. Two large stems (10cm or more in diameter) with a suitable Y shape are cut and placed in the ground about 0.5 to 1 metre apart so that the crotches are about 1 metre above the ground. Round traditional hives or top-bar hives can be placed firmly inthe Y. 2. Two large stems (10cm or more in diameter) are placed in the ground about 2m apart to root. When firmly established, top-bar hives are sus-

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Apis florea in Sudan I have been interested to hear of the introduction to Khartoum of Apis florea (see Newsletter No 8, March 1986) but also very concerned. For the following reasons I think its presence may present problems: — 1.

risk that A. florea may have with it diseases (viruses, bacteria, brought even mites) to which Apis mellifera may There

is the

be susceptible.



Though A.florea may exploit the flora at different times of day from A. mellifera and to some extent a different range of plant species, there will inevitably be an overlap and degree of competition for forage that can only be detrimental to A. mellifera and its honey yields, and to other native pollinators.

Most important, beekeeping development in Africa has enough problems with out



a3 sah.



pooPS ba



Traditional hives on Ficus supports showing shading effect of small branches. pended between the living posts by means of wires. This method is necessary where ants must be prevented from attacking the hives. In a carefully designed apiary, one living post may serve to suspend several hives in different directions. In both systems, the living supports grow small branches and leaves which serve to shade the hives from the sun. These branches are cut off once or twice a year to prevent them from growing too big. The cut material may be fed to animals or used as garden mulch. The apiaries are often fenced using the same species to protect them from large animals. Trees of the genus Ficus and Eryth-

the introduction of another species of honeybee which is difficult to manage and produces only very small quantities of honey. The widespread presence of A. florea would have to be acknowledged in

beekeeping programs and this would only serve to confuse people and detract from the development of beekeeping with A. mellifera. I am not surprised at the interest that has arisen in this incident and how the A. florea made their journey but I am surprised that no one has commented on whether it is a good or


colony of A. florea was introduced to Dhofar (southern Oman) (in 1980?; reported to me by Jan Karpowicz) from northern Oman, in a packing case and thus had survived a 1 000km road journey across the desert. I advocated that this colony was destroyed, particularly for reasons (2) and (3) above, and fortunately an Omani destroyed it on his own initiative to get the

a bad thing.

rina are found in many tropical parts of the world and both are traditionally used as living fences. They could be readily adopted as living hive supports, as could any other suitable species with the same properties. would like to hear from anyone who knows of other species being used in this way or who can offer improvements on the technology. |


Trevor Chandler is a consultant specialising in appropriate, environmentally based land and resource use. Presently based in Canada, where he also teaches ecology, he is widely experienced in apiculture and agroforestry in the tropics.

honey, so the ‘‘problem"’ was solved! I do not expect the ‘‘problem’’ of A. florea in Africa would be anywhere near as severe as the problem of A. mellifera (from Africa) being introduced to South America (but who would have predicted the severity of that problem?). Nevertheless it is highly likely that A. florea will spread over time into other parts of Sudan and Africa und I would therefore strongly recommend that efforts are made to destroy the colonies that are now spreading in

Khartoum. Unintentional plant and animal introductions on the whole have little to commend them and it would be far better if A. florea is ever needed in Africa that it is introduced on a controlled basis from genetic stock that has been selected for the purpose.

Dr Robert Whitcombe, Planning Committee for Development and Environment in the Southern Region, PO Box 19781, Salalah, Oman



year. Last year (1986) was exceptionally good and most colonies produced excellent honey crops. Honeybees, of course, are also important for pollinating some plants and without them we could not grow cucumbers, squash, pumpkins or melons. Concern about an apparent surplus of Bermuda honey last fall prompted the drafting of a questionnaire to try to quantify the supply situation as well as gather ideas on a range of topics, including how to deal with any surplus honey. The response rate was not as high as had hoped but, nevertheless, some important information emerged. A detailed report was presented at the May meeting of the Bermuda Beekeepers Association. What follows is a brief

Sweet success — High-quality honey 6000kg of it daily — are now being processed in a plant run by young people in Marull, in Argentina’s Cordoba Province. The plant was built as part of an apiculture project financed through the IDB’s Small Projects Program and carried out by the Federation of Cooperative Farm Youth Centers of Sancor. It went into full production in April. The project also includes the provision of credits to over 200 young, lowincome farmers in the provinces of Santa Fé, Cérdoba and Entre Rios to









Among the respondents, unsold honey ranged from zero to one-third of their harvest. The total amount of unsold honey in storage at this time (June) is approximately 515 gallons. This Tepresents perhaps less than one quarter of the total harvested crop. Honey use follows this pattern: beekeepers with just one or two hives generally report keeping their honey for private use and using it for gifts. Most beekeepers who do sell their honey, sell it to friends and neighbours. Only a few

(IDB News, July 1987)

BERMUDA Beekeeping will never rival tourism as Bermuda’s largest industry, but it is an important source of pleasure and extra income for some 30-35 Bermudians, and there are over 500 colonies on the island. Each is capable of producing approximately 8-12 gallons of honey a

Table 1: Beekeeping in Bermuda

- Cost Estimates

First Year Expenditures


hive $

Hive, frames, etc Equipment

Extractor Jars, labels

Labour (12 hrs/hive @ $15/hr)


hives $

Subsequent years | hive 10 hives $

275 150 250 35















300 350





Return Honey (10 gal/hive = 120lb @ $3/Ib)

Profit 'Free' labour

supply supermarkets. One beekeeper sells direct to the public at a roadside stand. None reported supplying gift shops and none advertise except by word of mouth. A beekeepers’ costs average $50 per hive per year after the initial start-up costs for equipment. New equipment for one hive (2 hive bodies, 4 shallow supers, frames, foundation, bottom board and inner and outer covers) costs $275. In addition, the beginner needs a bee suit, veil, gloves, smoker, hive tool, etc — another $150-$200. Honey extractors are $250 and up. Jars and labels can run up to $35 per year per hive. Labour requirements average 10-15 hours per hive per year. Though expenditures and yield both vary from year to year, Table 1 presents the general economics of beekeeping in Bermuda. The remainder of the questionnaire dealt with possible courses of action for dealing with a honey surplus. Lowering the price of Bermuda honey was unacceptable to the majority of beekeepers (60% ), even if by so doing an embargo could be imposed on the importation of honey. The current law which allows the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries to place embargoes on imported vegetables requires that the price of the locai product be comparable to imported material. Raising the import duty on imported honey from 11.2% to 22.5% was rejected by 60% as being of doubtful benefit to Bermuda beekeepers. Most would like to see it raised even more and several suggested it be raised to make imported and local honey comparable in price. There was very little interest expressed in spending more time and money on marketing local honey, though one respondent observed that our honey is “one of a very few true Bermuda products that is affordable, durable, and is underutilized as a local souvenir”. Clearly there is a surplus of local honey this year and the situation could get worse when the next crop starts to come in. There is no consensus among beekeepers about how to deal with this situation. Most are not willing to lower the price of honey and | think the brief economic analysis in Table 1 shows there are no windfall profits being made in the business. One reason for this is the cost of equipment which is unusually high due to shipping charges and a 22.5% duty. In fact, only when one ignores the beekeeper's own labour are reasonable profits being made.

The majority of beekeepers, quite naturally suppose, favour the easiest solution — that is, have Government raise the duty on imported honey so that its price is comparable to the local product. have discussed this with a representative of the Ministry of Finance, and this is |


- 1,750





(+275) (+2,750)


not likely to happen, though a rise from 11.2% to 22.5% might be possible if Properly justified. My own feeling about this approach is that the benefit to Bermuda beekeepers is outweighed by the cost to the Bermuda public. believe there is a better solution. What is needed is a new market for our honey, and believe our tourists could provide one. Virtually all our honey is now sold to residents. It is bottled in gallons, litres, and 1 and 2lb jars. Many of us are willing to pay a premium for it because we feel it is superior to the imported varieties. It should be since it is made from the nectar of different plants. believe we should capitalize on this difference and market our honey to tourists as a Bermuda souvenir. In order to do this, we need to bottle it in much smaller containers and label it “Bermuda Tropical Wildflower Honey’, or something similar, to indicate that it is a different product from what they are used to buying off the supermarket shelf. The label should also have postcard-like qualities (flowers, beaches, etc), so that it brings back pleasant memories of their vacation every time they see the jar. Honey is also an ideal gift (almost everyone likes it), and if attractively packaged and properly promoted, it would make a good Bermuda gift to buy for the “folks back home’. |


300 small-scale farmers in the Los Santos area. The financing will be used by the Centro Agricola Cantonal de Terraza (CACT) to provide credits to beekeepers and fruit growers. (IDB News, April-May 1987)

GHANA In Newsletter

No 8 (March 1986) the

“Bekyemplant was described. This

plant is used by villagers in Ekumfi Dis-

trict to subdue bees. The plant has now been identified by the Chemistry Department of the University of Science and Technology as -idania lubata. The villagers cut stalks of this plant, 10-11 inches in length. The crushed stalks are then placed near to the hive entrance, and within 10 minutes the bees appear to be dead. However, 20 minutes later the bees have recovered and are flying about normally.

(Stephen Adjare, TCC, University of Science & Technology, Kumasi)




(Daniel Hilburn, Monthly Bulletin, Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, Bermuda, August 1987)

BRAZIL Associagao Caxiense de Apicultures (ASCAP) has 400 Members in the Caxias do Sul region. Beekeeping in this area has developed well during the last 10 years, using a productive strain of Africanized bees whose aggressiveness is tolerable. The last honey harvest was poor due mainly to heavy rains throughout the flowering season from August to February; the honey price at present is US$1.5 per Kg. The hardest problem now facing beekeepers in this region is the presence of the Varroa mite. The Association runs 19 different beekeeping courses, a shop selling equipment at reduced prices, and generally promotes the use of bee products. Monthly meetings and an annual honey fair are

The crushed Bekyem stalks


(Delvino Peruffo, Secretary, ASCAP, Rua 20 de Setembro, 2138, 95020, Caxias do Sul)

COSTA RICA The Social Progress Trust Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank has provided US$500 000 for a credit and technical assistance program to benefit

Effect of Bekyem upon bees, 10 minutes after holding the Bekyem near the hive entrance


Beale has been working as a volunteer in

Zaire for


years, and

has been promoting beekeeping using various

types of top-bar hives. In some villages these

How by


hives have been’ very successful, producing up to 30Kg of honey per year. Some of the hives have been continuously occupied for 2 years.

to build a bee hive K Beale*, Nord

Kivu, Zaire



Bamboo and


re Bee

Materials required: or


mud mixture: 3 parts earth mixed with 1 part cowdung



Place a layé mixture ov mixture on completely

and water

mixture: 3 parts sand, 1 part cinders and 1 part




cowdung Wood or





This second








a good







a box and

bamboo and





Place the the top. of th



Attaching the

bamboo and

reed hive to a hive support

put the



of this place tin or plastié the hive from!




build. hive, shelter to



9. Wait another until the §



3. Place the box in








animals, and with of plenty flowering plants to supply food for the

bees, supply.





10. Place



smal! or

the entrance swarm.




To which

of the following categories



teacher of beekeeping



(tick relevant box(es))


beekeeper bee

do you


extension agent

other (please specify)


project organiser INTRODUCTION

sending this questionnaire to all recipients of the IBRA Newsletter and grateful for your cooperation in completing it. We want to assess the usefulness of IBRA and the Information Service to the intended beneficiaries




would be

including yourselves. Please tick the appropriate boxes below and overleaf. There is also a space for to write down ways in which these services might be improved and your comments would be most welcome; we hope you will expand on your answer(s): please continue on a separate sheet if necessary.



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iii. 54

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he S|



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d 18 North Road,







outside of the box with both as_ as well mud, sides of the lid, but leave the bottom of the box uncovered, so that

can circulate. Leave an hole small entrance for the bees.

air a




(this usually takes


Wait until the



the sand the mud





covers kes the ble,




Covering the lid of the hive with the Prepare


halved from or wood a Place canes. bamboo wax along strip narrow

the underside of the bars as a guide for the bees In to build their comb. Zaire, using top-bars of 2.5cm width ensures that the bees build one comb per bar.





start building

3 or 4


12 .




the hive





Very top

bars, always holding them



and examine the bees which the combs Combs constructed. have brood or containing

pollen stores must. be returned to the hive. Combs with capped honey


or so Mixture



Placing the lid of around ‘tract a


nest in the hive, wait


of reet Shelter


make 25 bars

11 After




YH> “line of


ve, ong





Sal On



the hive,




from the

hive for harvesting.

the top-bars.


This is the easiest and The Banana Bark Hive. . . Another idea is made from mats woven It Beale. Faith cheapest of top-bar hives used by The mats are attached to the stick out of thin strips of banana bark. framework of the hive described above and covered with mud.

CANDLE-MAKING PART III: with a carousel Increasing production

(Parts | and Il Burning materials and the wick and The Dipping Method were published in Newsletters 9 and 10, part Ill reproduced here concludes this item. 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 article first appeared in VRAAGBAAK Vol 14 No 2. (VRAAGBAAK is now renamed AT-Source).

Expansion to a carousel A frame allows 10 candles to be made at the same time. Using a cube-formed frame, even more candles can be made at once. (fig. 1). Hooks at the top and bottom of the frames are attached at such a distance from each other that the candles will never touch (eg. the distance between 2 hooks is the diameter of a candle plus 1cm more). We can also determine the length of wick and candle by adjusting the distance between the top and bottom plane. The wicks are spanned in the same way as on the single frames (see Newsletter 10, page 9): the wick thread is rolled off a bobbin and fastened directly to the first hook in the corner of the frame. Then the wick is spanned throughout the whole frame and finally knotted to the last hook of the frame.

How do we make a cube-formed frame?

The sizes depend on the desired production and candle diameter, or on the size of the wax container we can obtain. For example, if one has a wax container, with a diameter Z then we can easily dip a square frame with a bottom edge d (fig. 2). The relationship between the diameter of the wax container and the maximal edge of the frame is always: dmax = 0.7 x Z.

If we construct 4, 6 or 8 such cube formed dipping frames, then we can combine them in a so-called carousel as in the schematic drawing (fig 3). Each frame can be lifted up and down by gliding it along a metal rod to which it is attached. The first frame is dipped in the wax container and lifted. The carousel is turned so that the second frame is hanging above the wax. This frame is dipped and lifted, and so on for each frame. A few construction details of the carousel (Fig 3)


Each cube hangs on a cable which, running over 2 wheels, is connected to the following frame. In this way a contra weight is formed when the first frame is raised and lowered. As each frame becomes heavier by the thickening of the candles, so the contra weight also becomes heavier. Dipping becomes easier, and less tiring in this way.


To speed up the work before and after dipping (the spanning of the wick and removing of the candles) one can make a holder into which the dipping frame can easily slide in and out. The holder is attached to the guiding bar, and its construction is very simple: two metal U-profiles per frame.

3. The guiding of the dip-frames on their holders along the bar involves a little simple welding. A short piece of tube that fits just around the bar is attached to the two U-profiles. 4. The height of the carousel can be determined as follows: the bar along which the dipping frames slide must be twice as long as one dipping frame since the frame must be able to be raised and lowered. The bars must be able to turn above the wax container. 5. At the installation one must take care that the axle of each bar is above the middle points of the wax container. 6. We use an old kettle as a wax container (no copper) in which a square container is hung. Using 2 kettles that fit in each other, we can obtain a double boiler effect; with wax in the innermost kettle and water in the outer kettle.

Fig 3


Fig2 -a—}


candles per framework = 1 cube = 144 candles

12 frameworks 6

cubes =


caroussel = 864 candles

A building plan (for which there is a small charge) of the carousel can be obtained from ATOL*. A metal shop with the basic tools can easily construct the carousel (welding, sawing, drilling).


How much energy does this installation use? The wax container holds about 90kg wax. The double boiler 100 litres of water. The wax must be melted and heated from 20°C to 70°C, and the wax container and the 100 litres of water must also be heated. Using 25Kg of wax, the container must be heated for 2-3 hours. Once the dipping starts, we need to burn 2kg of wood per hour to keep the wax liquid and at the right temperature to melt newly added wax. Warming and melting uses the most wood (or other fuel). Therefore try to save energy by covering or insulating the container, once it is heated and the wax is melted (and dripping has ended), especially at night, so that heat is not wasted. Wood, old packing materials, rags, charcoal, etc can all be used as insulating material. Take care that this insulation material remains dry and does not catch fire! * ATOL, Studie en documentatiecentrum voor ‘aangepaste’ technologie in ontwikkelingslanden, Blijde Inkomstraat 9, B-3000 Leuven, Belgiurn.


Association should now be formed. (Mr Daniel Ponchant, Conseils Gestion Afrique Togo, Initiatives des Communautés de Base)

The National Beekeeping Programme in Mozambique is now five years old. It has passed through ups and downs to Teach the stage it is now at. The programme conducts the following:


Short and long courses to elementary and traditional beekeep-


A West German company, Karl Bergmann KG has recently won an award for


The manufacture of beekeeping equipment and protectives

Extension services to beekeepers


PERU With the installation of 6,000 beehives and the production of 60,000kg of honey, a program to assist small-scale farmers in Peru’s Department of Lambayeque is off to a successful start. The program is being carried out by the non-profit National Development Foundation with US$400,000 in InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) financing for subloans and a $70,000 grant for technical assistance. According to the foundation's director, Alfredo Bellatin, 421 beekeepers had joined the program by last year, and they had received credits equivalent to


The project, in which the Inter-American Foundation also participated, resulted in the establishment of an apiculture training school in the town of Ilimo. In addition, the project has stimulated the local production of beekeeping equipment such as hives, centrifuges, and clothing. The benefits of the project have been further multiplied through the initiation of similar activities in other areas. (IDB



(CDI Industrial Opportunities, No 56, July-August 1987)

23 participants representing those involved with beekeeping in Togo attended a 2-day seminar in June in Sokodé. This was the first such meeting and it was agreed that a Beekeeping

Don't Forget °*: Please complete and return questionnaire



kkk Ok kkk


$395,000. The project has succeeded in transferring marketing and technical assistance tasks to the producers themselves through the formation of various committees. Project beneficiaries will produce an estimated $150,000 of honey, pollen and wax in the present 1986-1987 sea-

a OF

The workshop of Guzméan Valdéz turns out smokers and other items beekeepers need.


(Mathew Kawa, Apiculture Programme, CP 1011, Maputo)



Sale of bee products The objectives of the programme have been satisfactorily implemented considering the existing economical bottlenecks existing in Mozambique. We have completed a short handbook (in portuguese) which proves very helpful both to adults and children, The handbook is full of cartoons (to leave a lasting mental impression), and covers basic beekeeping management, the three types of hives used in Mozambique (top-bar hive, transitional hive and movable frame hive), equipment, how many hives to start with (not more than five), how to catch a swarm, harvest honey and build an extractor. Finally the handbook gives nutritional information — did you know that iKg of honey is equivalent in calorific value to 40 oranges?



promoting ACP-EEC joint enterprise. Karl Bergmann KG is a major honey importer in West Germany, a country with the highest per capita consumption of honey in Europe. Bergmann recently invested in a joint venture with a Western Samoa partner. new company was formed in Western Samoa, and with sponsorship from CDI (Centre for Development of Industry), Bergmann trained local staff in harvesting, quality control, packing and bee breeding. The project is now operating successfully and honey is supplied to both jocal and european markets. The operation has aroused a great deal of interest in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Jamaica and Karl Bergmann KG is now negotiating in each of these countries to set up similar joint ventures.






as soon as possible


a Oa




tical advice. It will be welcomed by beekeepers in Asia.







mites At



Honeybee diseases and enemies in Asia: a_ practical guide by Pongthep Akratanakul FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin, 68/5, FAO, Rome, 1987. ISBN 92-5-1025193,51 pages, paperback. Available from FAO sales agents or from IBRA (price on application).

mites and their Honeybee control — A selected annotated bibliography by International Bee Research Association

FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin 68/2, FAO, Rome, 1987. ISBN 92-5-1025207, 141 pages, paperback.

Available from FAO sales agents or from IBRA, price 7 (including postage).

This bibliography gives details of 800 references on mites that are, or may be

parasitic upon honeybees. In the section on Acarapis woodi details of a few relevant historical papers are given, but most of the papers referred to describe the spread, distribution, biology and control of acarine disease. 72 pages of references on Varroa jacobsoni deal with every aspect of this mite: its spread and world distribution, biology, species of honeybees infested, general, chemical and non-chemical methods of control. Compared with Acarapis and Varroa, there is relatively little literature available regarding other mites parasitic upon honeybees: 25 references to Tropilaelaps clareae are cited, reflecting the current relatively limited distribution of this mite species. This Bibliography will provide a most valuable source of information for anyone who needs an up-to-date guide to the literature available on honeybee mites.

(Many of the publications cited in this Bibliography are held in the IBRA library, and subject to normal regulations and charges, photocopies can be obtained from us.)


This publication describes concisely the various diseases, parasites and predators which face honeybees in Asia. The situation in Asia is made complex by the existence of at least 3 native species of honeybees, and introduced Apis melliJera, each with its own susceptibility to the range of Asian honeybee diseases and enemies, some of which are unique to the region. This timely book describes the cause, symptoms and control of the commonly encountered diseases and the predatory honeybee mites and insects. The various vertebrates which can prey on honeybees are discussed, and the final paragraphs of Chapter 5 bear repetition here: It

is important to note that

among the primate pests of honeybees, man is probably the most destructive: honey crops may be stolen, or brood and combs consumed on the spot. Occasionally, entire hives are made off with. Finally, it must be borne in mind that in areas where intensive modern agriculture is practised, the losses of bees through man’s misuse of pesticides is probably greater than losses from all other causes taken together. Chapter 6 gives straightforward and unbiased guidelines regarding honeybee introduction to new areas, stressing the importance of ensuring that if bees are to be introduced then they must be disease and parasite free. Chapter 7 concludes the book with advice on how to maintain the strength of honeybee colonies, and thereby reduce susceptibility to disease and attack by parasites and predators. This is a valuable book, well illustrated and easy to read, and full of prac-


Pheromones of Social Bees by John B Free

Chapman & Hall Ltd, London, 1987. ISBN 0-412-24740-2, 218 pages, hardback. Available from IBRA price 18.80 cluding postage).


Social insects need to communicate efficiently with other members of their community, and they achieve this by the use of pheromones, chemical substances which when released can influence the behaviour of other individuals. Almost all aspects of honeybee life are governed by the release of pheromones, and to fully understand the biology of a colony of bees, we need therefore thorough knowledge of the pheromone systems involved, and this is what Professor Free’s new book provides. The study of bee behaviour controlled by pheromones is made complex by the fact that each pheromone can have many different functions within the colony. For this reason Professor Free has selected the various colony systems and activities which must be controlled, and for each, described the pheromone mechanisms which govern it. Fourteen of the seventeen chapters of this book are devoted to discussion of the regulatory systems, for example,

communication of a queen’s presence, control of worker ovary development, nest and nestmate recognition, and mating pheromones. Professor Free describes the important factors in each system and the pheromones involved in its control. Whenever possible information on Apis species other than mellifera is given although discussion of tropical honeybee biology is hindered by the fact that relatively little information on the pheromones of tropical honeybees is yet available. The final two chapters of the book discuss the pheromones involved in bumbiebee behaviour. This new publication is highly readable, clearly set out and well illustrated. Students of bee biology will find it an important text to keep beside them, and all who admire bees will find this a worthwhile and interesting read.

Bee Genetics and Breeding edited by Thomas E Rinderer


Academic Press, Inc, 1986. ISBN 0-12588920-8, 426 pages, hardback.


Available from IBRA, price 56 ing postage).

Beekeeper Technician Course: 4 January to 18 November 1988.


This new publication provides a tho-

rough review and introduction to the science of bee genetics and breeding. Part I discusses bee genetics, with world authorities providing overviews of our current knowledge of bee evolution, classification and the science involved. This could well serve as a text for a University course on bee genetics. Part Il covers practical aspects of bee breeding and provides detailed practical information on selection, mating designs, the Storage of germplasm, instrumental insemination and the accomplishments which are possible by honeybee breeding. This part of the book will be of greatest value to those who are practically involved in queen rearing and honeybee selection. This publication provides a unique and thorough text for those with a serious interest in bee breeding and genetics.


ea tee




This program has three parts: Theory of Apiculture and Honey Production, Salatied Field Placement, The Business of Beekeeping. Further information from: The Registrar, Fairview College, Box 3000, Fairview, Alberta, TOH 1L0 Canada.

FRANCE University diploma in tropical beekeeping. A six month course, in the french language.

Further information from: Madame B Darchen, Directrice de la Station Biologique des Eyzies, Université Paris VI, 24620 Les Eyzies, France.

dK Diploma in apiculture. An international diploma course taught within the Bee Research Unit at the Department of Zoology, University College, Cardiff. This annual course runs from October until July and is intended for those who already have science degrees or appropriate posts in government research or the agricultural industry. Further information from: Professor R S Pickard, Bee Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University College, Cardiff, CF1 1XL, Wales, UK.


Honeybees and Wax. An experimental natural history by H R Hepburn

Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York, 1986. ISBN 3-540-169180, 205 pages, hardback. Available from IBRA, price 40 ing postage).


There are relatively few publications available on beeswax, and this new book is a useful addition to the literature. Part deals with the physical nature of beeswax and how it is produced by bees, and Part Il describes the manipulation of wax by honeybees, from the removal of wax scales through to cell building and comb construction. Part Ill covers the production of wax by the colony: what triggers it throughout the year, and the spacing and density of comb building. A large number of references are provided throughout the book, and along with many useful illustrations, this provides a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of the science of beeswax.

2nd Australian and International Bee Congress July 21-24 1988, Gold Coast, Queensland Programme to include sessions on Bee biology, Bee pathology, Bee pollination in practice, Melliferous flora, Bee technology and equipment, and Beekeeping economy. Further information from: The Convenor, The Second Australian and International Bee Congress, GPO Box 1402, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4001.


Canada 18th International Congress of Entomology, Vancouver 3-9 July 1988. Further information from: The 18th Congress Secretariat, Venue West Ltd, 801- 750 Jervis St, Vancouver, BC V6E 2A9, Canada.

Egypt 4th International Conference on Apiculture in Tropical Climates, Cairo 5-10 November 1988. For further details see page 16.

Zambia Regional Bee Seminar, April 1988. Further information from: Forestry Department Headquarters, PO Box 228, Ndola, Zambia.


a new database

The Pesticide Impact Section of the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute (ODNRI) helps field workers to choose the most appropriate

pesticide for local conditions. To help this work the Unit has compiled a bibliographic computer database of books and scientific articles about the environmental side- effects of pesticides in the tropics. The database is known as ENVIRON, and it can provide a rapid information service to farmers and agricultural administrators living in developing countries and working for international development organisations. Topics covered by ENVIRON include: *

* *

pesticide toxicity to non-targets (such as honeybees) pesticide persistence and residues environmental fate of pesticides ecological impact of pesticides on non-target organisms such as evidence of mortalities, population

sublethal effects (eg changes in behaviour). ENVIRON can handle enquiries about the effect of pesticides on non-target organisms, after specification of the pesticide(s), the target pests(s) or nontarget organism(s), or a combination of these. The output consists of a list of references, each followed by an indication of the content of the paper or an abstract. Depending on the request, the unit will also attempt to adapt the infor-


mation available to aid the enquirer.

ENVIRON, Pesticide Impact Section, Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute, College House, Wrights Lane, London W8 5SJ, UK.


DISTRIBUTION If you know of another beekeeper who would benefit from access to this Newsletter or the information service provided by IBRA, then his/her name can be added to our mailing list if they

write to:

Nicola Bradbear, Information Officer for Tropical Apiculture, IBRA, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK. If your address has changed then please return the back page of this Newsletter with mailing label still attached, together with your new address, to the address given above.



RACTICAL BEEKEEPING Results and discussion

The use of puffballs Langermannia wahlbergi as bee repellents LON

Mollel, Njiro Beekeeping Research Centre, Box 661, Arusha, Tanzania.


Mr Mollel holding a small puffball Langermannia wahlbergi

Summary Traditional beekeepers in Northern Tanzania use puffballs Langermannia wahlbergi to drive bees away from honey chambers during harvesting. This practice kills both brood and adult bees due to oversmoking. However field experiments conducted at Arusha, Magugu, West Kilimanjaro and Tabora have shown that it is quite safe to use small amounts of puffballs (0.5-2.3)g to quieten bees.

Introduction Puffballs are large fungi of the class Basidiomycete that usually grow along river valleys and on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru. They vary in size and at maturity they can measure up to 38cm in diameter. Like other fungi of their class, they reproduce by spores. These puffballs are not known to be edible, however they are used as bee repellents by traditional beekeepers of Meru (Chandler 1974) and Kilimanjaro. Wood (1983) suggests that the anaesthetizing agent from the puffball may be hydrogen sulphide. In Tanzania the use of puffballs by traditional beekeepers often results in indiscriminate death of brood and adult bees (Ntenga 1974). Consequently, beekeeping extension officers have made efforts to stop their use as bee repellents. However, this move has not been successful because puffballs and smoke are the only known repellents available to traditional beekeepers; puffballs being preferred for aggressive bees Apis mellifera scutellata and smoke for calm colonies of Apis mellifera monticola usually found at high altitudes. Since the use of puffballs persists in northern Tanzania it was decided to in-


vestigate in the field the critical dose of puffballs which pacifies bees and allows safe honey harvesting without resulting in the mortality of brood and adult bees. In this exercise, A.m. scutellata was used because of its highly developed defensive behaviour during honey harvesting. Material used and method Fifteen different weights of puffballs ranging from 0.5g-3.3g were ignited and placed on top of the frames of the supers (Tanzania Commercial hives) ready for harvesting, in order to drive bees from the super into the brood chamber. For each dose ten different colonies were used giving a total of 150 colonies. During the experiment it was found necessary to place an empty box with a top cover on the super in order to prevent the puffball from being blown away by wind and ensure diffusion of the puffball fumes into the hive. A few puffs of smoke from burning green leaves or rags were applied at hive entrances in order to help “disorganize” the bees (Johansson 1978), and to confine them to the brood chamber. For convenience, all treatments were carried out during the morning. Random samples of 50 bees were caged for 6 hours and observed for vomiting, purging, and death. Puffballs used in this experiment were obtained from the locality.


and M P


NTENGA, G (1974) A synoptic review of the beekeeping industry. Unpublished


WOOD, W F (1983) Anaesthesia of honeybees by smoke from the pyrolysis of puffballs and keratin. Journal of Apicultural Research 22(2): 107110




(1978) Some important operations in bee management IBRA, London


Weight of puffball used {g}


The graph shows the response of bees to different weights of puffballs used. Low weights 0.5-0.8g had little effect upon bees and in fact it was necessary to use additional smoke from grass or rags to keep the bees under control. The mid range 1.1-2.3g of puffballs caused 5% of bees to vomit and purge, however the returned to normal health within 30 minutes. It was observed that the application of puffballs within the middle ranges of 1.1-2.3g made the bees less mobile and at times it was possible to handle them without the use of protectives. It was also observed that if the amount of puffball exceeded 2.3g, this caused many bees to vomit and purge and their recovery was longer than in the 1.1-2.3g range. Higher doses exceeding 3.0g caused excessive vomiting and purging and sometimes resulted in death. From these preliminary observations, it appears that puffballs weighing between 1.1-2.3g are suitable for pacifying bees. Under field conditions, for most aggressive colonies, puffballs of up to 2.3g are required. Traditional beekeepers should therefore use small puffballs (weighing between 1.1-2.3g) for their operation to cause minimum harm to the bee colonies. More work needs to be done in this field in order to establish L. wahlbergi natural bee repellent in the tropics. References 1. CHANDLER,M T (1974) Traditional beekeeping among the Wameru people of northern Tanzania. Unpublished

Acknowledgements Thanks to K N Hirji and C L Mollel for their useful advice in preparing this manuscript and to the Principal of Tabora Beekeeping Training Institute for financial help. would also like to thank the Director of Beekeeping and all my colleagues at Njiro Beekeeping Research Centre for their encouragement and support. Lastly would like to thank Mrs Hansy for typing the manuscript. |





purging bees

Weight of puffball versus % of bees observed vomiting and Purging














a «»



Information on This chart Beeswax. aims to persuade beekeepers not to discard beeswax, but to value 1

it as an additional crop which can, by be h4- simple methods, readily processed for market. yi

Information on This chart describes what honey Chart





and how


it is


you would





project to receive one or more of these charts then write to: Dr Nicola Bradbear, Information Officer for InterTropical Apiculture, national Bee Research Association, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK. Please note that information charts




and may


dispatched by surface post take some time to reach you.

Simple ez details are given on, for example, how to for prepare honey market, what deter- &: mines honey quality, and the difference }-~—by

between granulated and liquid honey.

htipmention TOP-BAR TOP-BAR


The Information on Top-bar hives. basic features of a top-bar hive are described along with illustrations of the various types of top-bar hives that have so far been developed. Some advantages and disadvantages of beekeeping in top-bar hives are listed, and the basic principles of the construction of top~bar hives are given.










This chart is primarily Chart 4 Information on Pollination. intended to help explain to crop-growers the value of honeybees in | pollinating their crops. Brief descriptions of why pollination is jmportant and how it takes place are given, along with lists of crop plants that benefit from honeybee pollination.




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




FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APICULTURE IN TROPICAL CLIMATES 5-10 November 1988, International Conference Centre, Cairo, Egypt

This is the Conference for those interested in:


* * *


Topics to


promoting beekeeping in developing countries low-technology hives and equipment all species of tropical honeybees



Bee management techniques and problems ** Appropriate beekeeping equipment ** Improving the quality of honey and wax ** Marketing ** Beekeeping in rural development programmes ** Education and training ** Encouraging women as beekeepers ** Africanized honeybees ** Crop pollination ** Bee products for human




Pests and diseases


Pest control safe for bees

a special tour of Egypt and Israel for beekeepers This tour will originate in the UK. It is proposed interested persons. that the tour will be for 14 days and will include:

In addition, IBRA


and other

is arranging














n MA

receive further details about the Conference, please complete this form and return Bee Research Association, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK.

it to: International


I am interested in receiving Tour of Egypt and Israel









Attendance at the International Conference in Cairo ** Tours of places of unique beauty and historic interest ** An opportunity to relax with beekeepers, research scientists and beekeeping advisers from many countries

details of the

IBRA Beekeepers’