Bees for Development Journal Edition 134 - March 2020

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Bees for development Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020


No 134 March 2020


The Journal for sustainable beekeeping 1

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

Dear friends It is only now that the beekeeper looking after the honey bee colonies situated on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris – which suffered catastrophic fire last April – has been able to visit the bees and confirm that all are fine, though their wooden hives would surely have burnt if they had been near the flames. In the recent fires across huge areas of South and East Australia, forests, mammals and bees have been destroyed. This destruction of natural habitat will have severe impact for Australian beekeepers who harvest 75% of their honey from forests. Our friends at Beechworth Honey were helping beekeepers to relocate hives to safe areas, away from fire risk, and Australia’s charity for bees, the Wheen Bee Foundation is now supporting beekeepers with livelihoods at risk. You can support them too: at The bees in Australia are Apis mellifera of European origin, and fires probably did not feature much in their evolutionary history. What about honey bees that have evolved in areas where fire is commonplace? Researchers from South Africa and Germany* provided a wonderful insight when they published this new understanding about the Cape honey bee, Apis mellifera capensis, which is endemic to South Africa’s Western and Eastern Cape Provinces. The Cape Fynbos vegetation is adapted to fires which happen naturally every 15 - 25 years, and cover vast areas – with few nectar-producing plants surviving. For example, a wild fire in the Cederberg area burned for six days

Issue 134 In this issue

March 2020 page

Empowering beekeepers who live with disability......................... 3 Pollination Management A BEE-Town for a better tomorrow...................................... 5 Wild honey of the Wichi people.... 8 News............................................10 Bee cartoons................................12 Notice Board................................13 Book Shelf....................................14 Look Ahead..................................15 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 £30 per year – see page 14 for ways to pay Readers in developing countries may apply for a sponsored subscription. See page 16 or apply online at Bees for Development Works to assist beekeepers in developing countries.

and covered 13,500 ha, turning the entire region into a temporary wasteland. This harsh physical environment determines the nesting behaviour of the Cape bee: analysis of 37 wild honey bee nests revealed that 78% occurred under boulders or in clefts in rocks, 11% in the ground, 8% in tree cavities, and 3% within shrubs. Analysis of 17 of these nests following a fire within the park revealed that the propolis walls materially protected the nests and retarded the fire, with all these colonies surviving. The bees responded to the smoke by imbibing honey and retreating to the furthest recess of their nest cavity. The bees were required to utilise this honey for about three weeks after which fire-loving plants appeared and began to flower. The bees used considerable resources to construct the propolis walls, which ranged in thickness from 1.5 to 40.0 mm (mean 5.0 mm). The researchers concluded that the prolific use of propolis insulates the bees’ nest from extremes of temperature and humidity, restricts entry, camouflages the nest, and acts as an effective barrier to protect the bees from fire. *Geoff Tribe, Jürgen Tautz, Karin Sternberg & Jenny Cullinan, Firewalls in bee nests – survival value of propolis walls of wild Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis). Sci Nat (2017) 104: 29 DOI 10.1007/s00114-017-1449-5

Nicola Bradbear Director, Bees for Development

Bees for Development Trust gratefully acknowledge: Alan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Artemis Charitable Trust, Didymus Charity, E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, Ethiopiaid, Hiscox Foundation, Hub Cymru Africa, Millom Rotary Club, National Lottery Community Fund, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Red Rivers Food, Rowse Honey Ltd, The Rotary Foundation, UK Aid Direct, Wales for Africa,Welsh Government,Yasaeng Beekeeping Supplies and many other generous organisations and individuals. 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.

Cover picture: Simon Abanyu with his mother, on their farm in Uganda. Simon learnt beekeeping as a young boy. Recently he brought his bee hives around their farm, and they soon noticed that their crops of coffee and beans increased, as did those of their neighbours, due to effective pollination by the bees. Simon’s honey crop increased too! You can watch a short, beautiful film about Simon and his mother at the Bee Movies section of our Resource Centre on our website

Bees for development 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth NP25 3DZ, UK Tel: +44 (0)1600 714848

Image © Bees for Development

Propolis - the original firewall

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

Empowering beekeepers who live with disability: How can a blind person keep bees? Sean Lawson, Project Manager, Bees for Development Images © Bees for Development

“People would ask, how can a blind person keep bees?” Since 2006, Jennifer has been unable to see. “At first, this was incredibly difficult to accept,” she told me during my visit in August 2019, “however I’m now coming to terms with it.” As a widow with young children, Jennifer’s independence was everything to her. However, when she became visually impaired, she could no longer move freely around the house, get her children ready for school, or work to provide for the family. These were heavy burdens for someone who had been unexpectedly thrust into the role of head of the household. When I first met Jennifer, I was amazed by the progress, courage and resolve that she has demonstrated with her beekeeping over the last few years. Jennifer is one of fifteen severely visually impaired people involved in the Project that Bees for Development is running in partnership with The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation.

A mobility line set up in an apiary – the stick warns visually impaired beekeepers that they are one metre away from the hive. Jennifer was sceptical at first. “When I was first approached by Hive Uganda (one of the Project partners), I thought to myself, how can someone who is visually impaired be a beekeeper?” This mindset is not uncommon among people with visual impairments, who sometimes feel there is little that they can contribute, or that they are a burden to their families. This led me to rethink what it means to be a beekeeper. In the UK, we tend to purchase hives at great expense, whereas beekeepers in Uganda often make their own hives. Is one more of a beekeeper than the other? Ultimately, keeping bees is about making decisions: what is best for your bees? How can you care for them? When should you harvest? Being physically able to build a hive or lift it on to its stand is not as important as we might think. Nobody would dispute that Francois Huber, one of the 19th Century’s greatest entomologists, was a

Jennifer Abalo working in her apiary 3

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

beekeeper, despite not being able to see. Although Jennifer works closely with her father and her bees are on his land, she is the key decision maker when it comes to managing the hives and ensuring that the bees thrive. Jennifer has help, though her helper merely assists her through her activities and physically helps when needed - rather than instructing her. Trustworthy helpers are important and necessary in some areas, however it is the beekeeper who makes the decisions. For example, the beekeeper instructs their helper on when they should inspect their hives, how they want their apiary set up, and where they will sell the honey or beeswax, and for what price. Accessing her own hives, listening to the sound of the bees, assessing the condition of her apiary, all these activities are possible for Jennifer since she received training in how best to establish an apiary to facilitate her movement. She has been trained to arrange an apiary with wellspaced, correctly orientated hives and, with the help of her family, install a new mobility string line to give her the freedom of independent movement around her hives. Bees for Development is pioneering an inclusive approach to working with beekeepers and reaching the most marginalised communities. We are demonstrating to mainstream organisations that inclusivity is possible, necessary and important.

Okello Patrick understanding how to make a double boiler to melt beeswax for hive baiting

While the physical difficulties presented by disability are more obvious, it is hard to quantify the mental and social effects of living with a disability. With visual impairment comes the social stigma of being disregarded and overlooked in the community, and this often takes its toll on the self-esteem and selfworth of visually impaired people. Our Beekeeping to Economically Empower People with Disabilities Project (BEEPWD) aims to break down these barriers and change perceptions in relevant and accessible ways, consulting the visually impaired in focus groups and asking them to develop appropriate training materials, for example, visual learning aids for deaf beekeepers and audio guides for the visually impaired. It might be asked: why the focus on the deaf and visually impaired, as opposed to say, an amputee? Being deaf or visually impaired leaves people with seemingly insurmountable communication barriers that require that extra bit of help to start beekeeping: for example to access appropriate training materials, and even reaching training events in the first place. Just as it is difficult to quantify the negative mental and social effects of disability, so too, is it hard to measure precisely the positive effects of feeling empowered and gaining a sense of greater respect within the family and community. Jennifer feels a great sense of satisfaction from being a source of advice and expertise in her field. She is sought out by others in the community for her knowledge, and inspires those who may perceive their disabilities as a hindrance in ventures of this kind.

Kibwata Francis baits a hive using beeswax Jennifer welcomes visits to her apiary so that other visually impaired people realise that beekeeping is possible for them. She plans to add value to her beeswax products, including harvesting propolis and producing cosmetics from beeswax. And Jennifer wants to expand her apiary: “I can accept who I am”, she said with quiet confidence.

Bees for Development gratefully acknowledge funding support from the National Lottery Community Fund UK for this Project. 4

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

Pollination Management A BEE-Town for a Better Tomorrow Harish Kumar Sharma, Priyanka Thakur, Hema Prashad, Ruchi Sharma and Manju Devi demand and supply of the number of colonies required for pollination.

In India the cultivation of temperate fruit crops like apples is restricted to hilly regions of India including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttaranchal. Himachal Pradesh is recognised for its sub-temperate agroclimate where farmers can grow the world’s finest and choicest varieties of fruit. Apple cultivation in the State was started by Captain R C Lee in the 19th Century in Kullu Tehsil. Apples are a crosspollinated temperate crop critically dependent on the honey bee colonies placed in the orchards for optimal pollination and fruit production. Beekeeping was introduced in 1934 to the Kullu Valley and in 1936 in the Kangra Valley. Indigenous Apis cerana, the Indian honey bee, was utilised in the State until 1961, when Apis mellifera was introduced from Italy to the Bee Research Station Nagrota in Kangra. The Horticulture Department now helps the States’ beekeepers through several schemes and subsidies to aid economic growth, improve livelihoods and generate employment opportunities in rural areas.

Beekeepers renting colonies to the orchard farmers are from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The majority supply Apis mellifera colonies with a few renting out Apis cerana colonies.7 Apis mellifera beekeepers practise migratory beekeeping on a commercial scale with 100–1,500 colonies while Apis cerana beekeepers undertake stationary beekeeping as a part time activity with 10–50 colonies. Apis mellifera beekeepers with 100–500 colonies rent all their colonies for pollination whereas beekeepers with 500-1,500 colonies rent 50% for pollination and the remainder are kept for honey production. It is obvious that demand for colonies is increasing every year. The present status of Apis cerana beekeeping indicates that the number of colonies in movable frame hives is few against the great demand for colonies. Among the different pollinators in the temperate regions, bumble bees play an important role and are efficient pollinators, especially under protected cultivation. Commercial rearing of bumble bees is now being considered as an alternative to honey bees.


Images © Harish Kumar Sharma

The Indian State of Himachal Pradesh is crowned as the second highest producer of apples, contributing 25% of total annual production. Revenue generated from apples supports the livelihoods of the region’s orchard farmers. However, the apple growers in Himachal Pradesh always have ‘their fingers crossed’ because of the uncertainty that hangs over their crops amid climate change, pest and disease outbreaks and postharvest losses. The most crucial of all these ‘tensions’ is fruit set, which determines the cost-benefit ratio and ultimate income of the season. Apples require cross pollination - the flowers cannot set the fruits with their own pollen and need pollinators for fertilisation of the ovules in the flowers, initiation of seed development, and fruit set.1,2,3,4,5 A mature standard apple tree with a heavy bloom can have 100,000 flowers, most of which wither off if there is no effective pollination. However if just 5% of these flowers are successfully pollinated, this leads to a bumper yield. To attain effective and successful pollination farmers hire bee colonies for their orchards. Due to asynchronous flowering between productive and polliniser cultivars, low proportions of pollinisers or reduced flowering, the outcome is a low number of seeds and misshapen fruit that are eliminated with a series of early fruit drop.6 Managed pollination is an important part of temperate fruit production. Honey bees are indispensable because of their twin role of increasing crop productivity through pollination and honey production. About 100,000 hectares of land is under apple cultivation, and this needs about 300,000 colonies of bees for effective pollination. There is a gap between

Beekeepers receive training on pollination 5

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

Considering all these aspects “Managed Pollination” was proposed under various components of a World Bank funded project HP-HDP. This component aims to establish entrepreneurial development models for meeting the increasing demand for honey bees and bumble bees and to minimise crop failure due to pollination deficit. The objectives are: • selection of highly productive strains of Apis mellifera and their mass multiplication by building the capacity of beekeepers as bee-breeders; • to conserve and promote the indigenous honey bee Apis cerana as a small-scale entrepreneurial development; and • to standardise commercial bumble bee rearing and enterprise.

replenishment with 2 g of dehisced pollen mixed with powdered dried anther husk in a 1:1 ratio is carried out between 9 and 11 am on 5 sunny mornings.

The Pioneer Mr Suraj Chauhan is a small-scale orchard farmer from the Rohru region of Shimla District. He initially started beekeeping as a marginal farmer owning 0.1 acres of land. His interest in honey bees, supported by the Horticulture Department and training from Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry motivated him to become a full-time beekeeper and an entrepreneur in pollination services. In the last six years he has had financial support through the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Department and KVIC and is one of the 30 trainees. Mr Suraj took up the use of pollen dispensers as an entrepreneurial activity. He publicised his results and influenced others to use the technology. Every year he provides good quality colonies to apple orchardists. In 2019 he rented 1,800 honey bee colonies earning him up to INR800,000 (US$11,200; €10,340). Orchardists that rented Mr Suraj’s colonies and pollen dispenser in their orchards with low polliniser proportion reported good fruit set. Mr Jayant Attreta, resident of New Seri Village, Shimla recorded a 73% increase in fruit set compared to 2018.

Enhancing skills In 2018, 30 beekeepers were selected from ten districts of Himachal Pradesh to take a course on selection and queen rearing. A follow up 5-day refresher course in 2019 by the Department of Entomology, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, showed positive results in the form of small-scale bee breeding apiaries. Two of the beekeepers Mr Suraj Chauhan, enthusiastic beekeeper and emerging entrepreneur in managed pollination, and Mr Din Dayal, a progressive Apis cerana beekeeper and conservator, are breaking new ground in beekeeping in the State.

Mr Suraj is now working as a full-time bee breeder. He is the first registered bee breeder in Himachal Pradesh. He was allocated funds of INR300,000 (US$4,200; €3,900) by the Horticulture Department. He aims to produce 500 queens per year to sell to other beekeepers. This kind of initiative by trailblazing beekeepers will change the beekeeping scenario in the State and Nation and encourage youngsters to take up beekeeping as an entrepreneurial activity.

Revolutionary advances in pollination Pollen dispensers are placed at the entrance of the hive and are constructed so that outgoing foragers walk through the pollen. The dispensers are efficient and important for increasing fruit set in apple orchards especially in polliniser deficient conditions. Pollen

Mr Deendayal’s home is surrounded by Apis cerana colonies 6

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Harish Kumar Sharma is Principal Scientist and Priyanka Thakur, Hema Prashad, Ruchi Sharma and Manju Devi are Research Fellows working under the World Bank funded, Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (Managed Pollination), Department of Entomology, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry- Solan (HP), India References 1. JANA,B.R. (2001) Effect of self and cross pollination on the fruit set behaviour of some promising apple genotypes. Journal of Applied Horticulture, 3(1): 51-52. 2. KENDALL,D.A. (1973) The viability and compatibility of pollen on insects visiting apple blossom. Journal of Applied Ecology, 10(3): 847-853. 3. KRON,P.; HUSBAND,B.C.; KEVAN,P.G.; BELAOUSSOFF,S. (2001) Factors affecting pollen dispersal in high-density apple orchards. HortScience, 36: 1039–1046. 4. SHARMA,H.K.; GUPTA,J.K. THAKUR,J.R. (2004) Effect of bee pollination and polliniser proportion on apple productivity. Acta Horticulturae, 662: 451-454. 5. SHARMA,G.; ANAND,R.; SHARMA,O.C. (2006) Floral biology and effect of pollination in apple (Malus x domestica). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 75(10): 667-669. 6. SHEFFIELD,C.S. (2014) Pollination, seed set and fruit quality in apple: studies with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada Journal of Pollination Ecology, 12(13): 120-128. 7. SHEFFIELD,C.S; NGO,H.T; AZZU,N. (2016) A manual on apple pollination. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with implementation support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 44pp.

Mr Chauhan rears queens for his own beekeeping enterprise

Saving the indigenous bee culture

Apis cerana are kept in movable frame hives and are also present under natural conditions in log and wall hives throughout Himachal Pradesh. Hives are prepared from locally available materials and the bees settle in the hives during swarming. Colonies generally yield two to five kg of honey per year. The conservation and promotion of beekeeping with the indigenous honey bee will ensure pollination services and provide livelihood opportunities to rural, unemployed and landless people.

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. Articles should be 800-1,600 words in length and accompanied by images.

The Pioneer

Mr Din Dayal, a local resident of Village Karadsu chose beekeeping as a means to generate income for his family. Starting with a budget of INR40,000 (US$560; €520), in 2013, Mr Din Dayal purchased indigenous Apis cerana, owing to their robust and hardy nature in the environment. Despite several hardships Mr Din Dayal increased his venture to 60 colonies in 2018. He sells bees and does not extract honey from the bees on a commercial basis, which fetches him a profit of INR250,000-300,000 (US$3,500-4,200; €3,200- 3,900) annually. The scarcity of proper technical know-how and knowledge prevented him from harnessing the true profits. He underwent training in 2018, and today he owns 200 Apis cerana colonies with 32 in log hives, managed and well maintained on the roof area in the vicinity of his house. His profits rose to INR700,000 (US$9,800; €9,000) in 2018 from the sale of bees alone. He now motivates the local people helping them realise the true potential of Apis cerana and is establishing himself as a brand.

Items can be sent by post or in email text or attachment in Word of pdf format. We accept images as colour prints or digitally saved as jpeg files. Please send images at the size they are taken off the camera. (Images resized for website use are not suitable for printing). If it is not possible to include your submission in the Journal, we may place it in the Resource Centre on our website. All the information material we receive is added to our databank on beekeeping worldwide. 7

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Wild honey of the Wichi people A treasure to be discovered Images © Archivo Slow Food

The indigenous Wichi community live in the arid area of the Chaco Salteño* in Argentina, a region with little annual rainfall except for heavy downpours in November. One of the most important products for the community is honey gathered from twatsaj (wild bees) living in hollow trees. Two months after the start of the flowering season in mid-August, honey starts to accumulate and the best time for harvesting is November when the rains begin. The men observe the bees’ activity to identify the trees where honey can be found. During collection some honey is left for the colonies to feed on. The honey and wax mixture is pressed to separate out the honey, which is then filtered three times through cloth, to remove impurities, before being packaged for sale. The Wichi Wild Honey Presidium was started with the involvement of Larguero, a community of about 50 Wichi people not far from the Pilcomayo River and the border region between Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. 70% of Presidium honey harvesters are young people and have been collecting and selling the honey for over 10 years. Although not formally organised they recently started promoting their product outside the collection area and primarily in Buenos Aires, in fair-trade shops and through sustainable food-buying groups. The Presidium also supports the work of women in the community, who gather wild fruit from many different species to make highly nutritious and flavoured flours. Slow Food interviewed Juan Ignacio Pearson, an agricultural engineer and Coordinator of the Wichi Wild Honey Presidium, and Marcela Biglia, an agricultural engineer specialising in organic production and certification, and a Presidium Collaborator: What does the community aim to achieve with the Presidium? The Presidium supports the harvesting of Wichi wild honey using traditional collection techniques passed between generations for thousands of years. It aims to raise the profile, improve local consumption and production, and the commercial supply chain of the honey. What does this product represent for the indigenous community?

The Wichi people collect honey from colonies of twatsaj (wild bees) living in hollow trees

Wild honey is vital for the Wichi people, as it is directly linked to their culture, their knowledge and their bond with the land. Therein lies its enormous value, in that collection of the honey is an activity in which the value of ancestral Wichi knowledge is demonstrated and, at the same time, the Community’s ownership of its lands is reaffirmed. The honey has a unique and unmistakable taste, closely linked to the gastronomic memory of the region and plays an important role in dietary balance. This is due to the combination of flowers that the bees visit to produce the honey and that grow specifically

on the land of the Community. Throughout history the Wichi People have also collected honey from stingless bees (Meliponidae): Wos Chalas, Wejñat, No´tewos and Wosa (these species nest in hollow trees) and Nezla which nest underground. Stingless wasps, which hang their hives from the branches of trees such as the Wo´na or No´walhek, also make truly delicious honey, which is also eaten. All these honeys are eaten, however it is possible to 8

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sell only honey bee honey as it is produced in greater volumes. Wasp honey is only collected for personal consumption.

strengthen issues related to our culture. We are seeing great interest in our culture in other parts of the world, which is bringing change as our community realises that our product deserves to be defended and that it can be taken to markets that value it.

How do you feel to be within the Slow Food network and to be part of a global network?

Why is the kind of endurance, through food, important in your community?

This is the first experience of connecting with networks outside our community, so it is all new and exciting. In 2019 two young people enrolled in the Indigenous Terra Madre in Mexico, which is something we thought would take us many years. We do not feel comfortable leaving where we live, but these opportunities for co-operation with Slow Food encourage us to explore new areas. The excitement of establishing links with other groups of Indigenous Communities, and people who produce and consume healthy food has been incredible. We have been contacted by an organisation in Switzerland interested in buying honey collected from our lands. Selling in these conditions creates confidence and adds value to our products.

A core part of Wichi is to continue going out to campear, which means to walk across our land looking for food. There is a great deal of knowledge that is passed on between generations about the countryside, and the links with our land, trees and the waters. This link guarantees tranquillity and peace, and the result is that we have a “Good Life”. That is why supporting honey collection reaffirms us as the Wichi people, especially in the face of the cultural homogenisation that globalisation brings. Defending honey collection is also defending our traditional culture, knowing how to recognise one’s own life and the ownership of the forest and oneself too, since this ownership is what gives us our identity.

What does selling their honey mean to the beekeepers? The possibility of selling our honey at a fair price is very important. The work it represents for our population, its collection and processing, can allow young people in our community to derive a decent and fair income. It is important that Tsatotaj continues to grow, both for the future of the young people and to

* The Chaco Salteño is part of the Great American Chaco, the second largest tropical forest in the American continent after the Amazon. The forest extends over Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and a small part of Brazil.

Image © Indre Anskaityte

The Wichi Wild Honey Slow Food Presidium is supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, through a project that aims to enable communities to defend and promote their gastronomic heritage. See more at

Save bees and farmers

Slow Food has joined a Europe-wide campaign aiming to ban pesticides, transform agriculture, save bees and conserve nature. In January, Slow Food along with partner organisations presented the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Save Bees and Farmers by collecting signatures at the Wir Haben Es Satt! (We are fed up!) demonstration in Berlin, Germany. 9

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NEWS INDIA Low-cost, natural beekeeping is something that I am interested in, and I thank you for sending your informative magazine. I have found many similarities between India and Africa. We work with indigenous honey bees Apis cerana. In January we donated bee hives to a women’s self-help group in Goa. The group had ventured into strawberry farming and were facing issues for pollination. Suprajit Raikar (right) donating bee hives to the Goa self-help group beekeeping and to educate people about the importance of honey bees for our ecosystem. Our organisation gives back 10% of annual sales to charity under the

Bees for Sustainable Development Programme. For more information regarding our work visit www. Suprajit Raikar, M/s Raika & Co, Goa Image © Archivo Slow Food

Our organisation, M/s Raika & Co (a social enterprise) visited the farm and educated everyone about the importance of bees and pollination for local farmers. To date we have trained over 500 farmers, tribal groups and students in Goa region. Our goal is to create awareness about

Throughout 2020, Slow Food will organise activities to promote the ECI and raise awareness of the alarming decline of bees, with the biggest event taking place in April in Italy on Slow Food Day 2020. If the ECI “Save Bees and Farmers” gathers one million signatures by September 2020, the EU Commission and Parliament must consider turning the campaign’s demands into law. There are 90 organisations from 17 EU countries taking part in the campaign so far. Sign the Petition at 10

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020


TURKEY I have supported some young people in a small village in the Kurdish part Eastern Turkey who have set up a small beekeeping project which has been going for a year. For it to become more sustainable there is a need for further investment which I am not able to provide. The project supports unemployed and underprivileged young people to set up their own business and become self-reliant. The Kurdish region of Dersim experienced much turmoil throughout the 1980-1990s. Numerous villages were totally evacuated leaving them desolate for years. Supporting young people to set up sustainable businesses will encourage them to return home and continue with the historical local tradition of looking after the environment. The area produces 100% organic produce and is home to some of the most unique flora and fauna. By supporting these small projects, you will be empowering young people to take control of their futures. I am, on behalf of the project, looking for external funding to help further develop this project. I would be grateful for any support. San Seni If you can help, please contact San Seni via Bees for Development

Patrick Chinkota, Nasuluma Penta-Na Group, Blantyre

Photos © Patrick Chinkota

During our training day in March 2019 the message was Plant a Tree for Bees for a Sustainable Living. The group worked with secondary school students who are a vulnerable group more especially after finishing their studies as employment and further education opportunities

are currently very competitive. A route to start living sustainably is to plant trees for bees so that at the end of a short period benefits are enjoyed through bee products unlike cutting down the trees for a living! The project was welcomed by all students.

Plant a Tree for Bees!

(below) Participants on the ‘Fearless beekeeping’ course, in Uganda. Projects and associations in developing countries are welcome to apply for a Sponsored Resource Box – see page 16

UGANDA Thanks for sending a Resource Box and enabling us to learn more. In January we held a training course to help some of our beekeepers who are reluctant to open hives and harvest honey for fear of being stung. Our Chairperson told participants that it is important to monitor their hives so that the bees become accustomed to beekeepers being in their vicinity.

It is important to have reliable equipment including good boots, a protective suit and gloves, and a good smoker, knife, bucket and a torch. He encouraged them that they may be slow to begin with at opening hives, however when they become more confident and experienced, they will be able to work more quickly. Khasufa Kntosi Silver, Secretary Trauma Healing Childcare and Community Development, Mbale 11

Photos © Trauma

Here the hives are made from waste plastic material

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

Cartoons by Sjesu Karunarathne

1. Establish the bee colony near the house for easy inspection

2. An entrance to a bee colony should be positioned in a way to ensure that it is in line with the direction of the wind, does not gather moisture during the rainy season and that it is not directly exposed to sunlight

3. To ensure easy access for maintenance and to prevent damage from the hive toppling over, it should be secured on a support which is strong and not too tall (0.5 m)

4. Spend time near the colony so that the bees become familiar with your body odour (pheromones)

5. During the rainy season provide the bees with a coffee solution with sugar or a medicinal drink made from bell flowers or coriander. In the dry season a solution of fresh fruit juice should be provided to compensate for lack of food resources

6. Protect the colony from ants and other predators such as geckos and chameleons


Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

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 Caribbean, Latin America, and south-west Pacific. Applications can be made online at 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 HOTSPOT Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot Call. Small grants (maximum US$10,000 (€8,800)) 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 AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL The oldest English language beekeeping publication 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 (€13) for a digital subscription. See

7. Honey is a valuable, nutritious food and a natural herbal medicine. Therefore, remove honeycombs very carefully

8. Refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol, using pesticides, herbicides and the use of fireworks near to a bee colony

Photos © Ljubo Stefanov


Congratulations to everyone involved in Honeyland, a film about Hatidze Muratova, a wonderful beekeeper in Macedonia, who houses her bees in skeps. The film was nominated for two Oscar awards: best documentary feature and best international feature.

9. Relocation of a colony should be undertaken after 1800 hours on a wet day and after 2000 hours on a dry day


Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020

BOOKSHELF Honey hunting and beekeeping in Adamaoua, Cameroon (Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies 51) Martin Gruber and Mazi Sandar 2019 108 pages Hardcover Based on interviews and time spent with beekeepers in the Adamaoua region, this book provides a good introduction to the history and current status of honey production in Cameroon. The authors are positive towards local styles of beekeeping and bee hives and discuss their efficacy and affordability for people on low incomes. Beautiful descriptions and photographs of the hive making process are included. Unfortunately, the book omits market and production information about beeswax, which in recent years has become a valuable export crop for the region. Sean Lawson.

Honey bee biology and beekeeping Dewey Caron & Lawrence John Connor 2018 reprint 368 pages Hardcover A reprint of this stalwart book that was first published in 1999. It has been regarded as the premier textbook for North American universities and beekeeping training. Many excellent photographs and diagrams accompany the 21 chapters, the first 11 of which concentrate on honey bee biology and are then followed by ten on honey bee management as practised in North America.

Raising honeybee queens Gilles Fert (translation from French by Mark Pettus, edited by Leo Sharaskhin) 2020 edition 144 pages Softcover Another classic publication recently updated. The subtitle is: local queens, easy methods, horizontal hives, never buy bees again! This well illustrated guide has over 150 colour photographs, drawings and diagrams. The abundant practical advice is easy to understand. Topics include keeping bees in vertical and horizontal hives, multiplying colonies and overwintering in any climate, as well as natural and chemical-free options. Translated into a dozen languages, this is probably the best guide to queen rearing that is available.

Variations on a beehive Patricia Nelson 2019 200 pages Softcover In 1985 Professor Len Heath of the Devon Apicultural Research Group (DARG), UK published his book A case of hives. A lot has changed since its publication for both honey bees and beekeepers since then – loss of habitat and decline in insect populations. The publishers Northern Bee Books commissioned DARG to produce an updated version to recognise these changes. Over 25 hives are discussed by wellknown names in this field, including The People’s Hive, top-bar hives and skeps.

Be more bee Alison Davies 2020 144 pages Hardcover A beautiful looking, quirky little book with practical tips and exercises alongside fun facts about bees as ‘fuzzy gurus’! The author explains that she became fascinated with bees from five years old and believes bees have: “a magical marvel, are friends of the earth and are an advocates of girl power”. This is not a book about beekeeping, it is about using bee concepts to inspire your life. The author equates (among other things) defying the odds, reaching for the stars and team work to the behaviour of bees. 14

Bees for Development Journal 134 March 2020


BBKA Spring Convention 3-5 April 2020, Harper Adams University Further details

beewise-behuman® 2-3 May 2020, Bonn Further details

89th National Honey Show 22-24 October 2020, Sandown Park Racecourse Further details


SICAMM Conference 4-6 September 2020, Athlone Further details


Asian Apicultural Association Conference 7-10 December 2020, Hanoi Further details will appear here


Certificate course Entrepreneurship in apiculture in East Africa Baraka Agricultural College, Molo 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.



2nd International Meliponine Conference and AAA Symposium 25-28 February 2020, Los Banos Further details

UGANDA Why local style beehives are best 10-11 June 2020, Jinja A Bees for Development Course in cooperation with TUNADO Further details see page 16


V International Conference: Scientific research into the zoology of invertebrates 26-28 October 2020, Tomsk Further details APIMONDIA: 47th International Apicultural Congress 20-25 September 2021, Ufa Further details www.apimondia2021com

UK Monmouth Bee Town, Series of Bee Talks Every first Tuesday of the month, 1900 hours, in Shire Hall, Monmouth Free to attend Sustainable Beekeeping Course 25-26 April and 19-20 September 2020 Ragman’s Lane Farm, GL17 9PA


EurBee 9 Congress 15-17 September 2020, University of Belgrade Further details

Monmouth Bee Festival 3 May 2020, The Nelson Gardens, Monmouth


Bee Banquet 21 May 2020, The Mansion House, London

11th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers 29 June – 3 July 2020, Ivanca Gorica Further details

Willow Skep Making Course 26 July 2020, Ross on Wye


XII International Symposium on Pollination 31 August – 4 September 2020, Cape Town Further details

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BSc Beekeeping Science & Technology University of Dar es Salaam Further details

Uganda 2-13 March 2020


France 6-9 May 2020

APIMONDIA Symposium on Sustainable Beekeeping in Arid Regions & ApiArab Expo 9-11 March 2020, Abu Dhabi Further details

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SUPPORT FOR TRAINING 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................................................................................................. What is your involvement with bees and beekeeping? ......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... Organisation ..................................................................................... Postal address................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... Country............................................................................................. E-mail address................................................................................... Date of application............................................................................. Additional copies of this form are available from our website Email Post to BfD Trust at the address below

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.

Bees for Development, 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth NP25 3DZ, UK Telephone +44 (0)1600 714848 © Bees for Development 2020 ISSN 1477-6588 Printed on environmentally friendly paper and delivered in a fully compostable wrapper made from potato and corn starch