Bees for Development Journal Edition 129 - December 2018

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Bees for development


No 129 December 2018


Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Telling the bees about Philip Philip McCabe 1945-2018 It was a shock for the beekeeping world to learn of the untimely death of Philip McCabe, President of Apimondia, the World Federation of Beekeepers Associations. Philip died in Ireland in late October. Apimondia chose 7 December, the day celebrated in many nations as St Ambrose’s day, as a fitting day for a memorial for Philip. Philip was a third generation beekeeper, well known in Ireland as a beekeeping lecturer, eventually becoming President of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations in 2002. Philip stepped into the international beekeeping world by masterminding the 2005 Apimondia Congress in Dublin – a highly successful event. Organising this Congress sparked Philip’s interest in Apimondia – a venerable organisation with a long and complex history, and indeed by 2015 he had become its President! Philip was building an international network of beekeeping contacts by whom he was highly regarded. It was my pleasure to work with Philip during these years. He was a man gifted with phenomenal energy, who began tirelessly travelling and presenting Apimondia across the globe. People quickly warmed to Philip for he was always interested, always courteous, always striving to achieve the very best for beekeepers and for Apimondia. In the run up to the Dublin Congress – and to create publicity for the event – Philip decided to attempt the World Bee Beard Record. He took the chance to raise sponsorship for an Irish charity and Bees for Development too. The world’s press assembled on the appointed June day, as Philip stood in front of them dressed only in goggles and underpants! His carefully prepared bees were persuaded to assemble upon him. Watching this I began to appreciate Philip’s confidence and verve!

Issue 129 December 2018 In this issue


9th National Honey Week and 1st Apiculture Congress........... 3 Facts about beeswax................ 5 Notice Board............................ 8 Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union................... 9 News .................................11,16 Pesticides and bees – an overview ...........................14 Book Shelf...............................17 Look Ahead.............................19

Telling the bees: The illustration above shows the custom whereby families must inform their bees of births, marriages and deaths. In the picture, Grandma is telling the bees that her husband, the beekeeper has died. She has arrived a little early in the evening and while placing some black material, has annoyed one bee which has lodged in Maude’s hair! Sister Hannah looks on with supressed merriment. Picture reproduced with kind permission from Mr David Charles

As President of Apimondia, Philip was just getting into his stride, achieving good prospects for the organisation. Under his leadership last October’s Congress in Istanbul was an immense success. When beekeepers from many diverse cultures assemble, there are the inevitable communication challenges, and Philip showed his diplomatic skills – eager always to see everyone’s contentment. We will miss him.

Nicola Bradbear Director, Bees for Development

Bees for Development Journal Produced quarterly and sent to readers in over 130 countries Editor: Nicola Bradbear PhD Co-ordinator: Helen Jackson BSc Subscriptions cost £26 per year - see page 18 for ways to pay Readers in developing countries may apply for a sponsored subscription. Apply online or see page 19. Bees for Development Works to assist beekeepers in developing countries. Bees for Development Trust gratefully acknowledge: Artemis Charitable Trust, E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, Ethiopiaid,

Cover picture: A Majengir beekeeper sets off for the forest in south west Ethiopia. He carries his precious rope for climbing trees and for hauling hives and honeycomb, a basket to hold honeycomb as it is harvested and lowered out of the tree, a calabash ‘rucksack’ to carry the harvest home, and a bundle of reeds to use as a torch at night time. Majengir people gain most of their income from beekeeping and are very important guardians of the forest. Photographed in December 2018 by Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, Bees for Development.

Hub Cymru Africa, Millom Rotary Club, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Stroud Buzz Club, The Rotary Foundation, Rowse Honey Ltd, UK Aid Direct, The Waterloo Foundation, Welsh Government,Yasaeng Beekeeping Supplies and many other kind individuals and organisations. Copyright You are welcome to translate and/or reproduce items appearing in Bees for Development Journal as part of our Information Service. Permission is given on the understanding that the Journal and author(s) are acknowledged, our contact details are provided in full, and you send us a copy of the item or the website address where it is used.

Bees for development 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth NP25 3DZ, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1600 714848

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

9th National Honey Week and 1st Apiculture Congress Biryomumaisho Dickson, Executive Director TUNADO and Birungi Phionah, Programme Manager TUNADO, Kampala, Uganda Photos © TUNADO

It is now a tradition for TUNADO (The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation) to organise National Honey Week in August, and this year’s event took the theme Doing beekeeping as a business. This was selected by stakeholders needing to move on from small-scale subsistencelevel beekeeping, to beekeeping as a business. Honey Week focused on creating awareness of business opportunities to develop successful apiculture enterprises, BEE 2 BEE business links, providing valuable information on market, production, value addition, different technologies, products and services in the apiculture sector, as well as showcasing products to the public. We were delighted that the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda opened Honey Week. He pledged Government commitment to provide an enabling environment, and we have been informed that Apiculture Policy is to be discussed by the Ministry of Agriculture Cabinet on 19 January 2019. During Honey Week the Prime Minister extended the contracts of nine companies exhibiting good business cases under Bee Diverse Matching Facility.

Holding a bottle of mead is the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, inspecting exhibition stalls during the Opening Ceremony of Honey Week

Thanks to Bees for Development enabling us to attend the UK National Honey Show, we used the knowledge gained to fit our Ugandan context, and this Honey Week presented a “hive of activities”. TUNADO organised also the First Apiculture Congress on 27 and 28 August to provide a platform for scholars, scientists and stakeholders to share their findings on how to improve the sector. It was interesting to see scientists and beekeepers presenting their latest research and experience, and importantly, tackling issues of the environment and inclusion of people with disabilities in beekeeping programmes. The Actions of the Congress can be read at

Winners TUNADO awarded winners of the best apiary enterprise challenge. It took three months to select the winners. Participants competed at regional level under different categories: best beekeeper, best processor, and best equipment maker. There were four sub-categories under each category: male, female, youth and special needs – persons with disability and refugees.

In white overcoats bearing TUNADO logos, Honey Week judges at work (left to right) Ms Alice Kangave, Principal Entomologist, MAAIF; Mr Julius Peter Komakech, Principal Entomologist, Gulu District Local Government; Mr John Walugembe, Chairperson Federation for Young Entrepreneurs-Uganda; Mr Sam Karuhanga, Uganda Export Promotion Board 3

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

A typical set up of a section of the exhibition space

Outcomes from National Honey Week

join after learning about the role TUNADO plays in organising and supporting the sector.

• Honey Week has become an advocacy tool for passing through high-level policy issues to policy makers, highly placed Government officials and development partners without being viewed as antiGovernment or political.

• Honey Week has become a platform for sealing business deals, contract exchange, networking and showcasing new developments in the sector and hence increasing members’ loyalty to TUNADO.

• Honey Week has become a member recruitment ground for TUNADO. A good number of volunteers

• TUNADO has become a must-support institution by development partners whenever they participate and appreciate TUNADO’s work. Large organisations are asking to work with TUNADO, for opinion or involvement in their activities, which is slowly bringing harmony in the sector. You should know how difficult it has been to reach this level where development partners start to pay some level of respect! • Honey Week has become a Q&A platform including a feedback delivery mechanism. This has made it easy for TUNADO to pass on information to the public for seeing is believing. • It is a repetition to say that National Honey Week has created TUNADO’s visibility!

What do we advise other developing countries? Show your work, be organised: that way people will believe in you and support your actions. You too can organise honey shows!

The lady carrying a baby on her back, Ms Vickie Akwere of JJLLMA Holdings, attending to customers during Honey Week 4

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

FACTS ABOUT WAX Part 4: Uses of beeswax Dr Wolfgang Ritter Wax quality standards

have held brood, separate from those which have not. Frosty conditions are helpful: Nosema species, Nosema ceranae, which is common today all over the world, is very cold-sensitive. Wax moths cannot develop below 9°C and also their eggs are killed by frost. A comb storage unit outdoors or in an unheated room is therefore very suitable. An unused stack of bee boxes is well suited as a comb storage: with its variable size, it can easily be adapted to suit the needs. Sulphur fumes kill moths and moth larvae, acetic acid kills moth eggs, and Bacillus thuringiensis preparations kill the larvae. The best method is to not store combs used for brood, or to treat them before storage. In this way, residues can be avoided in storage.

Pharmacy and cosmetic products

Beeswax is used as an excipient - that is an inert carrier - in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, for example in ointments and lipsticks. The European Pharmacopoeia indicates the composition of white (bleached) wax Cera alba and yellow beeswax Cera flava and quality tests and parameters regarding appearance, density and scent; also the drip point and the acid, ester and saponification values. Also tests for paraffin and fat are defined.

Food products

In food production beeswax is used as a separating agent in sweets and a covering agent for fruits. The food additive key E901 defines the parameters for wax, similar to the European Pharmacopoeia. You will not find indicators concerning the total hydrogen content or limits for the addition of other substances. Therefore products could be adulterated by paraffin or stearin and by esters and fats.

Wax cycle The wax yield from old combs with many larval skins is lower than from new combs and honeycomb cappings. As a rule, the general recovery rate is 30-50%.

Own production Creating your own wax processing cycle ensures that wax you use contains only residues for which you are responsible. You can directly influence this by careful selection of the apiary location and the careful application of varroacides. You can sort the wax yourself from combs and cappings, according to its individual quality and process it separately. Even small quantities can be processed like this. To exclude previous contamination, you should not use old combs but only use wax from cappings and naturally built combs without comb foundation. Decontaminating wax against American or European Foulbrood is not necessary if you know the health situation of your colonies.

Beeswax candles The German ‘RAL’ Quality Mark for candles ensures high utility value and consistent quality. For beeswax candles the quality mark states: “The exclusive term beeswax candle is permissible only if the burning mass of the candle consists purely of beeswax without any additives“. However, a total carbon parameter of 18% is indicated. As natural beeswax has a value of 14% total carbon, it can be concluded that a certain portion of paraffin is tolerated.

Beekeeping (comb foundation) Quality parameters or norms for foundation are not defined by EU rules or regulations. For the registration of animal medicines, it is required only that a maximum residue level (MRL) be specified for honey and not for wax.

Processing within a beekeeping association

Concerning import, the World Organization for Animal Health stipulates under the Code for Animal Health which pre-treatment is necessary to avoid the importation of certain parasites including Small Hive Beetle and Tropilaelaps sp, and also pathogens of the diseases American and European Foulbrood.

If wax is processed jointly within your beekeepers’ association, it should be very clear how the individual members work, how they treat their colonies, and if they are in a position to evaluate the health situation of their colonies. It is better to recycle the individual batches separately. The equipment used must always be cleaned carefully. The advantage of co-operative processing is that cost-intensive equipment such as wax extractors and foundation moulds can be purchased jointly.

Comb storage

Delivery to commercial firms For smaller apiaries, the purchase of expensive equipment is unprofitable. Wax passed on to wax processing firms is reimbursed with an adequate quantity of foundation. However, mostly you do not get back your own wax. The risk of receiving contaminated wax is low, because nearly all firms recycle the wax at the correct temperatures and under stringent conditions. In the case of bigger quantities probably delivered from middle sized apiaries, some foundation

Combs in nests no longer occupied by honey bees are left for destruction by wax moths with their main consumption being remnants of empty cocoons and pollen. This makes sense for wild bee colonies in nature. However it is not desirable when combs are being stored away from a hive, when wax moths should be killed or their development inhibited. This can be achieved with cool and airy storage conditions. Another preventitive technique is to store combs that 5

Photos © Wolfgang Ritter and Ute Schneider-Ritter

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Dr Ritter demonstrates to veterinarians in the EU how to recognise combs which should be melted

If the honeycombs are built in frames without foundation, the wax is of good quality. Once used again, the wax will decrease in quality due to possible residues

producers will offer separate processing. You should make sure that the wax given to you is certified to be disease-free, with low-residue values, and free from adulteration.

achieved easily using the natural comb construction in local-style hives (with fixed combs) and top-bar hives. However, this is also possible in hive systems with movable frames. The combs can be stabilised by wires or wooden sticks. This offers the possibility for the bees to construct combs according to their own requirements. It reduces the stress on the bees caused by forced construction. However, the bees frequently

Natural comb construction The problem of accrued residues and adulteration can be avoided by not using foundation. This can be

Honeycombs from top-bar hives or local style hives provide very high-quality wax, if they did not previously contain brood. These combs are stabilised with wooden sticks to be able to turn them for inspection


Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

reject comb frames with construction aids in the honey chamber. Therefore foundation should be used there, at least to some extent.

Trading with beeswax China is the world market leader with an export of 10,000 tonnes of wax per year (2017). This is nearly half the total world export. The main exporters in Africa are Ethiopia, Cameroon and Tanzania. The main importers are the EU and USA. In recent years, the price of wax has increased sharply and demand often exceeds supply. Because of this situation, cheats can become active. From the adulteration detected, it appears that some suppliers purchase extra quantities of wax originally intended for candle production. Though it is declared as pure beeswax, this wax can contain paraffin. In general, it is very difficult to get a clear picture of the foundation market. As long as demand far exceeds supply, it remains improbable that good quality alone rules the market. Therefore, many claim the right to set norms and standards, also for the use of wax in beekeeping. The EU has recognised the problem and intends to create rules for the purity of beeswax.

Only candles made of well-filtered wax and stored before use burn evenly and without producing soot. Even the smallest adulteration can cause spraying when burning. The lighting process is best tested with small candles (tea lights)

What to take into account when purchasing beeswax and foundation? • Treat extremely favourable offers with all due caution • Buy beeswax and foundation of certified quality in terms of purity and absence of additives and adulteration • Beeswax foundation should be examined for residues of pesticides and varroacides, and be certified as being free of residues, or containing only low residues • Aim to create your own wax cycle without application of old wax, exclusively using wax from cappings and naturally built combs. Dr Wolfgang Ritter runs BEES for the World, which supports African beekeepers to produce top quality beeswax and sell it on the European market while promoting the African way of beekeeping, most favourable for bees, beekeepers and the environment. The income from sales will be refunded to support African beekeeping communities via training provided by Bees for Development. We asked Dr Ritter to prepare an article for Bees for Development Journal from an article previously published in a German magazine. Parts 1 to 3 are published in BfD Journals 126-128. This is the final part.

Local production of beeswax candles is an important source of income for small scale beekeepers, as here in Uganda 7

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Comb foundation can be made from wax from your own bees or together with other beekeepers. It can also be bought from manufacturers. Only the cell walls are built by the bees from new wax. When buying foundation you have to pay good attention to the quality, otherwise the honeycombs may contain residues and adulterations

Caterpillars of the large wax moth Galleria mellonella can destroy combs. Wax with pollen and combs previously containing brood are in danger, as long as they are not melted. They should be stored separately

NOTICE BOARD FUNDING OPPORTUNITY The Rome 1% Fund offers grants of up to US$ 5,000 (€4,500) for small-scale beekeeping projects, and is making a call for proposals from community groups in the following regions: the Caribbean, Latin America, and south-west Pacific. Applications can be made online at

in the world. See a digital copy and subscribe at BEE CRAFT UK Beekeeping Journal for beginners and seasoned apiarists. View a digital copy and subscribe at BEE CULTURE The magazine of American beekeeping. Today’s techniques. Tomorrow’s ideas. US$15 for a digital subscription. See

AWARD A professional development programme that strengthens the research and leadership skills of African women in agricultural science, empowering them to contribute more effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. See

TELL US YOUR STORY We accept articles and short reports on new or improved beekeeping techniques, information about bees and beekeeping in your country and your events. We welcome your comments and responses to articles we have published.

TRAINING GRANT Conservation Workshop Grants fund organisations to train communities, stakeholders, park guards, and others on local and regional conservation issues. These grants support training workshops with hands-on learning components that will build capacity for people living in WWF priority places in select countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Organisations must meet all the eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant of up to US$7,500. See conservation-workshop-grants

Articles should be 800–1,600 words in length and accompanied by images. Items can be sent by post or in an e-mail text or attachment in Word or pdf format. We accept images as colour prints or digital images in jpeg files or as created by the camera/phone. Digital images should be saved at the size they were created by the camera (images sized for website use are not suitable for printing). Please advise copyright for images if they are not your own.

HOTSPOT Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot Call. Small grants (maximum US$10,000) in Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – applications only accepted upon invitation. To discuss your project idea with one of our team members first write to

Our aim is to publish as much information as we can. If it is not possible to include your submission in Bees for Development Journal we may place it on our website. All the information material we receive is added to our databank on beekeeping worldwide.

Don’t forget to like Bees for Development on Facebook or to follow @BeesForDev on Twitter

AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL The oldest English language beekeeping publication 8

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union Vincent Hakizmana, Kigali, Rwanda Photos © Vincent Hakizmana

Before 1994 beekeeping was carried out inside the Nyungwe National Park (NNP) in southwest Rwanda, the country’s largest and most biodiverse national protected area. NNP is home to 1,323 plant species with 218 endemic to the Albertine Rift. There are more than 200 different tree species. Eighty-five mammals, 278 birds, 32 amphibians, and 38 reptile species have been recorded of which 97 species are endemic. NNP contains also 13 species of primate, including the eastern chimpanzee Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, which along with the well-developed trail system and Park infrastructure, offer important tourist attractions and sources of revenue. In addition to its biodiversity value, NNP provides vital ecological services, via water catchments and stabilisation of soil erosion. NNP is the watershed for over 60% of Rwanda with its streams feeding into both the Congo and Nile basins. It thus protects a major watershed for surrounding communities and also for those much further downstream. Population densities around Nyungwe are among the highest in Africa (250-500/km²). The forest’s moderating effects result in longer periods of rain each year, supporting a relatively high degree of agricultural production including local farms as well as larger scale production – coffee and tea plantations. As such, it supports the national economy, provides an important source of water and hydroelectricity, and regulates regional climate conditions.

Containers of Ubuzima cerate - skin lotion made by the Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union how beekeeping can be a revenue generating activity for farmers. Training was provided along with some equipment. In 2010, 15 beekeepers’ co-operatives were registered at national level within the umbrella group Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union. Today, the Union is the main buyer and seller of bee products in Rwanda on behalf of the co-operatives. Much progress has been made in beekeeping techniques and my own beekeeping skills because of my parent’s heritage and also the information provided in Bees for Development Journal. This has helped the Union diversify into

This is the conservation value of the area (Key Biodiversity Area) where beekeeping was practised without any consideration of its biodiversity. Beekeepers were considered to be the people who damaged NNP. From 1994 beekeepers were organised into associations or co-operatives and sensitised into

Revenue generated by bee products other than honey made by Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers’ Union Items Candles

2013 (RWF)

2014 (RWF)

2015 (RWF)

983,650 1,483,160 1,189,900

2016 (RWF)

2017 (RWF)

845,800 1,052,800

Beeswax lip balm






Skin lotion






Pure beeswax




0 1,317,600

983,650 1,493,660 1,213,700

999,300 2,699,200

Total sales

Source: Profit and Loss account of Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe 2013-2017 US$1 = RWF890; €1 = RWF1,000; £1= RWF1,140

Harvesting honey from frame hives 9

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Training is offered to farmers by Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union

Beautiful beeswax preparing other beeswax products: lip balm and skin lotion, candles, and processing pure beeswax. Women beekeepers inspect their colony in a top-bar hive

On behalf of beekeepers of the Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe Beekeepers Union thank you very much Bees for Development for helping us:

Vincent Hakizimana is from Rutsiro District, Western Province, Rwanda. He started beekeeping when he was eight years old. He has a BSc from the National University of Rwanda. In job creation, he has an apiary at Arboretum Ruhande with 86 hives and works with the students of animal production in the University Faculty of Agriculture. He is a field co-ordinator supporting beekeeping-related research with students from Rwanda, University of Virginia (USA), Trinity College (Ireland and in The Netherlands). He works with Rwandan beekeepers in training activities and in establishing beekeeper cooperatives and the Beekeepers‘ Union around NNP. He helped the NNP Beekeepers Union to win the Golden Medal in 2011 and the Best Producer Organisation and Overall Best Winner in 2016 (ApiExpoAfrica); and the Best Food Processor at Made In Rwanda 2018. He has worked with many different institutions and NGOs, and can be contacted through Bees for Development.

• To diversify bee products prepared through skills acquired and to initiate the promotion of top-bar hives for women and young people (BfD Journal 118, March 2016, pages 3-5 and 12-13). • To encourage the young beekeepers’ generation. • To help us to improve the livelihood of the community surrounding Nyungwe through using bee products made from wax considered as waste 20 years ago. • To increase our beekeeping skills using the training cards and booklets provided. • To continue conserving and protecting NNP Biodiversity through changing the mind-set, practising good beekeeping and being involved in its management. • To promote environmental education and outreach programmes in primary and secondary schools surrounding NNP. • The community surrounding NNP are requesting support to share experiences with others and learn from your experiences. 10

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

ARGENTINA New honey traceability system From 1 December 2018 every batch of honey that is harvested to be marketed in or from Argentina, must be registered in the Beekeeping Traceability System implemented by Senasa.

Photo © Chia Bernard Ful


The measure is in compliance with resolution E5-2018 and is part of a systematisation that has been going on for several years. Each beekeeper needs a “tax code” to access their registration as a producer from the platform offered by the Federal Administration of Taxes (AFIP). All extraction rooms authorised or temporarily authorised by Senasa must register online every batch of extracted honey. This honey is packed in drums with a unique and inviolable label and will be tracked in the system through an 11 digit code on the label. Therefore, the label registers in the Senasa system all the steps followed by the honey, from the apiary where it was harvested, to which commercial operators intervened, until its export or final destination.

The picture above shows training for beekeepers in Njinikom with a volunteer adviser from SES Bonn Germany. He was invited by Boyo Association for Rural Development (BARUDEV), a local NGO that protects and conserves biodiversity through beekeeping, therefore ensuring climate justice for the care of creation and fighting against climate change. Volunteers can

KENYA Thank you so much for this great work. Ever since I started receiving BfD Journal, I have shared it with many others.

Photos © Tom Ochuka

More information at HomeAlimentos/Apicultura/ trazabilidad.php

I started keeping bees but in 2016 people (out of jealousy) destroyed our farm house and we lost everything: the bees, hives and land. A kind neighbour gave us a place to reside. Early this year some bees came looking for water in our living room. I kept on giving them water (we are on a hot humid rocky mountain side), eventually “they sent us away from the room”. 11

share their experience with us. We also network with universities and other NGOs. We carry out also sustainable agriculture using organic farming and seed multiplication and distribution to ensure food sovereignty Please contact us via Bees for Development Chia Bernard Ful, Director, BARUDEV, Boyo District

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

I am beginning afresh. My big task is now to plant more trees, so far about 300 have been established. There is serious decline of forest in Kenya, resulting in poor rainfall patterns. We need to rethink therefore I am already contributing to the forest and will have more trees soon so that the bees will have flowers. I am concerned with the conservation of indigenous tree species that give good quality yields of honey. When given good forest, bees pollinate and contribute to forest conservation and development, because people will fear going to destroy the trees because they are wary of the bees. We migrated to the next room outside and then I brought a box

Bees are a real contributor to the ecosystem, I am not only keeping them for honey but more for restoration of the Earth. To me Development is being able to preserve what God has given us by caring and improving without destroying. This can only happen with an adequate supply of clean air and water. I need water tanks to keep water to plant trees and fruits so that the bees will get flowers easily. Please send me books on bees and other forest resources and links on support to improve my bee farming. I have only one hive, if I can increase to ten, I am sure to support my family, and the needy in the church because as a Pastor I help to pay fees for orphans.

This is their new residence

Rev Tom Ochuka, Angorogardens, Kisumu, Kenya

See page 19 for details of how to apply for a sponsored subscription to Bees for Development Journal and page 13 to request a Resource Box. Visit our Resource Centre for access to many articles and publications on bees, beekeeping and the environment resource-centre

They are comfortable in their new home 12

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Photo © Asade Elijah

NIGERIA Calls for Support for Beekeeping Community Development Service The team of the Youth Corps members under the auspices of the National Youths Service Corps-Community Development Service, AGRO ALLIED GROUP in Ilaro; Ogun State received a day’s training from Bees Extension Education Services (BEES) headed by Asade Elijah. The day was based around materials provided in the sponsored Resource Box received from Bees for Development. Donor agencies who can be of assistance should contact us through Bees for Development. With thanks Asade Elijah, Bees Extension Education Services, Ilaro State

Participants from the one training course led by Asade Elijah (centre) of Bees Extension Education Services


conditions, and management practices on honey bee and wild bee health. The selected Associate will work with collaborators who are developing longitudinal data sets of honey bee colony weight, parasite levels, overwintering survival, as well as wild bee abundance and diversity, and will have the opportunity to develop new data sets through field studies and/ or citizen science partnerships. Applicants are required to have a

Penn State’s Department of Entomology and Center for Pollinator Research (USA) seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar, Research Associate to contribute to a USDANIFA-AFRI and Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research funded project to model the effect of land use pattern, environmental

PhD or equivalent doctorate in an appropriate field. It is preferred, but not essential that the candidate have experience with managed and/or wild bee ecology and preference will be given to candidates with a PhD in Entomology, Ecology, or related field. For more information contact Professor Christina Grozinger, Director of the Center for Pollinator Research:

SUPPORT FOR TRAINING BfD Training Booklets and Training Cards are for use by beekeeper trainers in Africa. Each booklet provides one day of training on one topic. The cards provide pictures and plans illustrating techniques discussed in the booklets. These are included in our Resource Boxes for training events and workshops. Projects and associations in developing countries are welcome to apply for a Sponsored Resource Box by filling out an application form on our website, or request the form by email. Projects in other areas can purchase Resource Boxes through our website store. 13

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Pesticides and bees – an overview Janet Lowore, Programme Manager for Africa, Bees for Development The FAO Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides defines as pesticides, ‘any substance or mixture of substances of chemical or biological ingredients, intended for repelling, destroying or controlling any pest or regulating plant growth’. Pesticides are used to kill fungi, weeds and animal pests, especially insects and mites. Pesticides contain more than 1,000 active ingredients. These ingredients make pesticides effective killers of different living organisms. Many pesticides are designed to kill insects, and this means that in addition to killing the target insect species, it is inevitable that other insects including bees are also harmed.

Our modern era of pesticide use stems from the 1940s. Concern over the unintended negative consequences of pesticide use was flagged in 1962 with the publication of the famous book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Carson wrote about how a single application of DDT could continue killing for months and years. This led to an era of greater control and regulation in some countries, but the problem is still with us. The companies that produce pesticides try to downplay the negative impact and spend considerable effort in ‘proving’ their safety. This is not surprising given the amount of money at stake in the industry. There are different broad groups of pesticides. The older-type pesticides, such as DDT were widely used until the full extent of their harmful consequences caused them to be banned or heavily controlled, along with many other Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). A new class of pesticides, neonicotinoids came into widespread use in the 2000s. Following increasing concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on bees,

Types of pesticides Type


In brief



DDT was widely used in the 1940s to 1970s. It caused widespread and catastrophic harm to wildlife because it does not biodegrade and instead accumulates through the food chain. DDT is now banned for most uses in most parts of the world but is used to kill malaria-spreading mosquitos in some countries.



Highly toxic and widely used insecticides used in agriculture, gardens, homes and veterinary practices. Highly toxic to all insects, including bees. Interferes with insects’ nervous systems preventing them from moving or breathing. Malathion is applied in dusts and sprays and is harmful to people if inhaled or comes into contact with their skin.



Carbamates are heavily used in agriculture as fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Carbamate insecticides vary in their spectrum of activity, mammalian toxicity and persistence. Used as either dusts or sprays. Carbamate pesticides kill insects in a similar fashion as organophosphate insecticides but some carbamates are less toxic and degrade faster than organophosphates. Sevin (one example) is moderately toxic to mammals, but highly toxic to honey bees.



Pyrethroids are a group of man-made pesticides similar to the natural pesticide pyrethrum. Pyrethroids are a broad-spectrum insecticide and widely used to control insects in agriculture. Considered less toxic to mammals than organophosphates and relatively cheap. Sub-lethally toxic to honey bees and harmful to aquatic wildlife. Imidacloprid

First used commercially in the 1990s, ‘neonics’ are now among the most popular insecticides in the world. They are coated onto crop seeds and – being water soluble – are taken up and dispersed throughout the plant. This mode of action is called systemic and explains how the toxin enters the nectar and pollen. Sometimes they are sprayed onto foliage. They are especially effective against sucking pests (such as aphids). Increasing evidence that neonics are sub-lethally toxic to honey bees led to a partial ban in the EU in 2013.


Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Photo © IITA

case of ‘sub-lethal toxicity’ linking cause and effect is difficult by direct observation. Sub-lethal effects on bees can include: • Disorientation and difficulty in finding their way back to the hive • Reduced foraging ability • Impaired memory ie cannot remember where the forage is located • Failure to communicate ie cannot communicate information about forage to other foragers • Delayed development of bee larvae • Weakened immune system.

Measuring the cause and effect Research into pesticide use and impact is difficult. Incidents of acute lethal toxicity can be evidenced by mass deaths near the hive and are easily observed by beekeepers. Bee deaths in the field are hard to notice and might be detected only by a colony dwindling in strength. But poisoning does not always result in instant death. Nerve agents can cause bees to become disorientated or weak and to lose their ability to forage well. Laboratory studies are one way to substantiate cause and effect, but these too are problematic. It is often argued that laboratory tests are unrealistic because it is hard to know the actual dosage ingested by bees ‘in the field’. Pesticides companies have exploited some of these difficulties. For example, if a laboratory study shows that bees die when coming into contact with a particular insecticide, pesticide companies may still defend the insecticide by saying that ‘in real life’ bees receive a lower dose than that tested in the lab. For this reason, it is useful also to analyse the traces of insecticides in the bodies of bees and larvae. Beekeeper experience and observation is also very powerful. Their perceptions are unlikely to convince pesticide companies to withdraw certain chemicals from use, but they can sometimes convince public opinion, local-decision makers and farmers, if they present their arguments clearly.

Spraying cow pea with pesticide the EU implemented a partial ban in 2013, prohibiting use of some neonicotinoids on crops attractive to bees.

How pesticides harm bees

Photo © BfD Ethiopia

1. Direct contact via crop-spraying. Bees are at high risk when spraying is carried out when a crop is in flower, or neighbouring plants are in flower, as this raises the likelihood of direct contact between bees and the spray. 2. Ingestion of nectar and pollen from crops which have been seed-treated with neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are systemic which means that the toxin is taken up by every part of the plant, including nectar and pollen. 3. Direct contact with dust used to coat seeds. When dust-coated seeds are planted, the dust can become dispersed and accidentally come into contact with foraging bees. 4. Contamination. Residues from treated seeds can be taken up by non-targeted plants and enter water courses. Consequently the residues can be indirectly ingested by bees through this wider environmental contamination.

Understanding the impact on bees Bees can be killed outright after coming into contact with a toxin. This is called ‘acute lethal toxicity’. Sometimes beekeepers report seeing a mass of dead bees at the hive entrance. This is a sign of ‘acute lethal toxicity’ and is perhaps the most visible evidence of bee poisoning. This can be a consequence of direct contact via crop-spraying. Bees can also suffer from ‘sub-lethal toxicity’, or in other words the bees do not die, but they become sick or impaired. Bees may or may not recover from these sub-lethal effects. The consequences are much more difficult to detect because the ill-effects may be less easy to see (for example, a bee becomes a less efficient forager) or the ill-effect may occur some months after the application of the pesticide. In the

Spraying pesticide in Ethiopia 15

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Bibliography CARSON,R. (1962) Silent Spring. Penguin Classics; New edition (28 Sept. 2000) MCAFEE,A. (2017) A brief history of pesticides. American Bee Journal. July 2017. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Pollination and bee poisoning prevention. Available from: bees/pollination.htm#table1 [accessed 20/11/2018 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Best Management Practices for Pollination in Ontario Crops: Types of pesticides. Available from: Pesticides%20-%20Types%20of%20Pesticides.pdf [accessed 20/11/2018] Oregon State University. National Pesticide Information Centre. General factsheet on Imidacloprid. Available

from: [accessed 20/11/2018] Oregon State University. History of pesticide use. Available from: pesthist.htm [accessed 20/11/2018] Pesticide Action Network. Bees and other pollinator factsheets Nos. 1 to 10. Available from: http://www. [accessed 20/11/2018] UNEP Stockholm Convention. The 12 initial POPs under the Stockholm Convention. Available from: http://chm. tabid/296/Default.aspx University of Hertfordshire. Pesticide Properties Database. Properties of Malathion. Available from: htm [accessed 20/11/2018]


UGANDA The Tropical Beekeeping Institute was established in 1989 by a group of experienced Ugandan beekeepers. The Institute offers “hands on” training (80% practical, 20% theory) for young people and adults interested in skills development for their future. Short courses offered include: apiary management, hive and equipment making, honey harvesting, honey processing, handling and packing systems, and beeswax processing.

In October this year, community members from around Njuguto Swamp enrolled on a three months’ certificated training course in beekeeping and honey production under the Uganda Business Technical, Vocational and Training (BTVET 2018). It is anticipated that the training will lead to beekeeping providing an alternative source of household income, helping to conserve the depleted Swamp environment.

Photo © Robert Mtisi

Photos © Tropical Beekeeping Institute

Tropical Beekeeping Institute, Rubirizi, Bunyaruguru

On behalf of our Association I would like to say thank you for the continued support for our beekeeping projects through the information sharing platform. BfD Journal is so important to our beekeeping development initiatives. We share the Journal with the schools and groups we work with. I also say thank you for supporting our members who benefitted from our recent training course in which we used materials provided in the Resource Box we received. During the training participants attended a honey safety and standard course, bee products were on display, awards were presented, Zimati school initiated a beekeeping programme and the girls from Chistva School Sewing Club enjoyed some honey tasting!

An example of the top-bar hives we will be producing for use by those venturing into beekeeping During training, participants on the 2018 Uganda Business Technical, Vocational and Training Course had lessons in hive making 16

Robert Mtisi, Chairperson, Makoni Beekeepers Association, Manicaland

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

BOOKSHELF Honey from the Earth – beekeeping and honey hunting on six continents Eric Tourneret and Sylla de Saint Pierre (Translation by Mark Pettus) Edited by Leo Sharashkin 2018 352 pages Hardcover

Eric Tourneret, the internationally acclaimed photographer of honey bees spent 15 years travelling the world to produce this book. Over 300 colour photographs depict the diversity of bees and beekeeping he has witnessed in 23 countries within six continents. The book has an excellent synergy with the work of Bees for Development. Professor Tom Seeley, BfD Trust Patron says: “Honey from the Earth is an immense accomplishment. I cannot think of a beekeeper or nature lover who would not be delighted to own this stunning book”. Available from the Bees for Development shop in Monmouth – price £50 (US$64; €56) (Postage costs apply depending on destination)

Handbook of the Bees of the British Isles George R Else and Mike Edwards 2018 Hardcover Volume 1: pp 1-332 Volume 2: pp 333-775

The two volumes of this mammoth publication include colour photographs, black and white drawings and colour distribution maps of over 270 bee species that can be found in Britain. Volume 1 provides information about the bees, the terms used to describe the species and keys to genera and species. Volume 2 describes the ecology, profiles and distribution of each species and uses many images of bees in their natural habitats (a DVD-ROM provided with the books makes it possible to examine these images in greater detail). It is a shame that the entry about Apis mellifera is dominated by information about parasites and diseases rather than information about the ecology of wild honey bees, but perhaps this is inevitable given the honey bee’s almost unique status as being both a managed and wild endemic insect. An invaluable reference text.

Planting for honeybees – the grower’s guide to creating a buzz* Sarah Wyndham Lewis 2018 142 pages Hardcover This prettily designed grower’s guide tells us about the best garden plants for honey bees, and where and how to grow them in the UK. The selected plants are those that provide honey bees with the nutrition (nectar and pollen) they need to be healthy. The recommended plants are listed according to different planting spaces from small balconies to large gardens and by the UK seasons. Lists include the best flowers, climbers, shrubs and trees. There is a chapter with interesting facts about the honey bee. An index of Latin and common names, bee friendly gardens to visit in the UK and other resources come together to provide a very attractive and useful book for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

Bees of Australia – a photographic exploration James Dorey 2018 207 pages Softcover This book is a photographic delight with beautiful and perfect pictures of 70 species of Australia’s bees, shown in high resolution and clarity. It is estimated that there are between 2,000-3,000 bee species in Australia and of these 1,600 species have been described and named. James Dorey explains why bees are important to us and hints on where to find them. Further information describes the importance of bees, their use as crop pollinators, their behaviour, and how to attract them to gardens. 17

Bees for Development Journal 129 December 2018

Towards saving the honeybee*

Günther Hauk 2017 2nd edition 135 pages Softcover Gunther Hauk is a biodynamic gardener and beekeeper. This updated second edition of his book includes new chapters on making splits, bee health and hive warmth and scent. The book encourages us to consider how in the process of ‘managing’ bees, many of us are working against their natural instincts. On swarming the author notes that, “bees should again be allowed to swarm”, as swarming contributes to raising the bee’s natural health. On nest warmth the author reminds us that adding empty supers above the brood nest cools the brood and compromises larval development and brood health. The first edition urged beekeepers to reconsider some accepted norms. This second edition offers further evidence and insights into the dangers of taking a purely profit-oriented approach to beekeeping, and once again calls beekeepers to respect the nature and instincts of bees, “to restore our ailing bees to a level of vitality”.

Betsie Valentine and the Honeybees*

M C Duncan with illustrations by Tegan Sherrard 2018 63 pages Hardcover This is a carefully thought out story with lovely illustrations for children. The book covers the adventures of Betsie Valentine ‘a spirited young girl’ who is intrigued to find out about the secret life of honey bees. Fascinating bee facts, all true, are woven into the charming and magical story. This is an excellent book to read to younger children, or for older children to read for themselves. *These books are available for purchase from

Beekeeping as a business – a practical guide to beekeeping in Uganda

Simon Turner 2018 4th edition 86 pages Softcover Simon Turner has lived and worked in Uganda for over 10 years. He founded Malaika Honey to train marginalised farmers to use beekeeping to improve their lives and to create an economic incentive to maintain the environment. The manual provides an introduction on starting beekeeping, management techniques, harvesting and selling and honey bee biology and behaviour. There is an incredible amount of practical information packed into this short book which is richly illustrated with diagrams and photographs on every page. New beekeepers are advised to “start small and build up … with more hives that suit your skill level” – what good advice! Contact

The beekeepers’ manual – harvesting money in beekeeping

Akaya Group Trust Ltd 2015 53 pages Softcover This book is also for beekeepers in Uganda and is in two parts. Phase I is an introduction to the biology of honey bees, how a colony functions, different types of hives, honey and other bee products and how to establish a good bee forage garden. Phase II explores the economics of beekeeping including budgeting and guidance on expanding your business. The book includes some motivational advice for new beekeepers, encouraging the acceptance of problems as normal challenges that need to be overcome. Contact: Michael Bush author of The practical beekeeper – beekeeping naturally (reviewed in BfDJ 128) informs us that the book is also available in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Content on his website is free to access. Please visit: • Secure order and payment at • Credit/Debit card: We need card number, name on card, valid from and expiry dates, card issue number (if given), security number on back of card. • Cheque/bank draft in GBP payable to Bees for Development 18



Bees for Development Events

APIMONDIA: 46th International Apicultural Congress 8-12 September 2019, Montréal Further details


Straw Skep Making Course 9 February and 15 June 2019 Peterstow, Hereford Further details


Willow Skep Weaving Course 10 March and 29 June 2019 Peterstow, Hereford Further details


Sustainable Beekeeping Course 6-7 April and 12-13 October 2019 Ragman’s Lane Farm GL17 9PA Further details


Monmouthshire Bee Festival 19 May 2019 The Nelson Garden, Monmouth


Bee Garden Party 12 June 2019 London Further details

5th International Organic Beekeeping Conference 1-4 March 2019, Stuttgart Further details Certificate course Entrepreneurship in apiculture in East Africa Baraka Agricultural College, Molo Further details 10th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers July 2019, Banksa Bysstica Further details BSc Beekeeping Science & Technology University of Dar es Salaam Further details Welsh Beekeepers Annual Convention 30 March 2019, Builth Wells Further details BBKA Spring Convention 12-14 April 2019, Harper Adams University Further details

Bees for Development

Conwy Honey Fair 13 September 2019, Conwy Further details

Beekeepers Safaris Bee Safari to Trinidad & Tobago 11–21 February 2019, Trinidad and Tobago Further details www.bit.yl/TriniSafari2019

88th National Honey Show 24-26 October 2019, Sandown Park Racecourse Further details If you want notice of your conference, workshop or meeting to be included here and on our website, send details to Bees for Development.

SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE This Journal is available for resource-poor beekeepers, projects, schools and groups in developing countries. Supported with funds raised by Bees for Development Trust Name ........................................................................................ Date of application ........................................... Your involvement with bees and beekeeping?...................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... Organisation ...................................................................................................................................................... Postal address.................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... Country.............................................................................................................................................................. E-mail address....................................................................................................................................................

Additional copies of this form are available from our website. Email or post to BfD Trust at the address on page 2


Bees for Development, 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth NP25 3DZ, UK Telephone +44 (0)1600 714848 © Bees for Development 2018 ISSN 1477-6588 Printed on environmentally friendly paper