Bees for Development Journal Edition 14 - May 1989

Page 1


NO.14 MAY 1989


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eekeepersin tropical & Subtropical countries ‘


Beekeeping is encouraged in developing countries for a variety of reasons: to produce honey for food or a cash income, to Produce beeswax as a useful cash and EXPORL-GEOP,t0. CRSLues and, less commonly, to adequate pollination of nearby crops assedin earlier editions of the Newsletter. A further important Produce royal jelly. These aspects of beekeepipg.agve-b 20nd reason for promoting beekeepingin developing countries is in conservation of tropical forests. Every minute of every day tropical forest of an area equivalent to two football pitchesis cleared. These forests are of priceless ecological value: they prevent soil erosion by wind and rain, control flooding, affect rainfall, store and recycle nutrients, and provide habitats for vast numbers of plant and animal species. In addition they provide energy (half of the world’s population depends on fuelwood), food, fodder, pharmaceuticals and other products. And of course, beekeeping is an important forestbased activityin many tropical countries. The people who livein tropical forests are amongst the poorestin the world. They rely:on shifting cultivation for their food and wood as a fuel source. These same people are the first to suffer from the effects of deforestation: soil and water degradation, poor agricultural productivity, fuelwood shortage and flooding. Ultimately of course people everywhere will suffer the consequences of deforestation. Climates may already be changing as a result of global warming. What is needed are sources of income for rural people so that they can support thefnselves without irreversibly exploiting natural resources or being obliged to migrate to urban centres. Beekeeping is one such activity. In many tropical countries and provides a sustainable, economic argument for the retention of forest. For is beekeeping practised by forest-dwelling people, value of traditional in Newsletter 12 the honey hunting in the threatened rain forests of Malaysia was described, and in example this edition thereis news of the Tropical Forestry Action Planin Tanzania and a of social forestryin Thailand beekeepingyas part (page 2). Conservationists understand that habitats cannot be protected without the’ interest and involvement of local people.. ensuring that beekeepers are supported and have good markets for their products, beekeepers themselves will help to ensure tHetp, continued existence of the native habitat. of help is the most useful? The answer is In our efforts to support beekeepers and encourage development what sort appropriate assistance encouraging sustainable beekeeping practices. Traditional beekeeping methods are sustainable. They do not depend upon: Materials being brought in from elsewhere and -+° whose supply may be unpredictable. The importance of sustainable beekeepingpractices are underlined by several items in this: edition: a discussion by Bérje Svensson (page 3) of the need for appropriate beekeeping equipment and David Wainwright (page 5) provides an economic comparison between hive types usedin Zambia showing that although production per colonyis lowerin bark hives than frame hives, bark hive beekeeping is more likély to provide an economic return. On page 2 Adrian Gnagi introduces the idea of a new strategy, Farming Systems Research and.Development. I hope that you will find some of the ideas expressed here new and refreshing. It is debate which all are welcome to join.






TROPICAL FORESTRY ACTION PLAN The Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP) has been prepared over a number of years through the combined efforts of non- government and CIN organisations. The plan represents a new co-ordinated approach to solving the tropical, government, forest crisis. It covers all tropical forests, humid rainforests, dry open savanna woodland and semi-arid steppe. TFAP is now underwayin some 60 countries with the goal of finding ways to ensure the sustainability of forest supplies, protect forest and water resources and contribute to socio-economic development. TFAP is a five-point action plan: Forestry in land use: as a barrier to soil erosion and a shield for sustained agricultural production. Development of forest-based industries: with high efficiency, low waste, effective forward planning and imaginative marketing of products. Fuelwood and energy: increased production and better use of this infinitely renewable source of energy for both domestic and commercial use.



Conservation of tropical forest ecosystems: as one of the keys to successful, long- term integrated forest management, and the improvement of domesticated crops, offering local populations a broader land use system as a springboard to development. Institutions: creation of tighter, stronger institutional frameworks devoted to research, training, extension, and the active. involvement of local populations in the task of saving the forest and harnessing its great economic potential.

International Bee Research Association

ISSN 0256-4424






In many situations “beekeeping development” means the introduction of new technology, usually new types of hives. Often people are not trying to discover the real problems of local beekeepers. Project activities should always be aimed at the identified needs of local (mostly poor, small-scale) beekeepers. Poor farmers in risk-prone environments, trying to make a living from diverse activities (. many different crops, livestock, crafts and off-farm work) face so many constraints that they can hardly ever profit from recommended The situation

is development packages. perhaps worst in sub-Saharan Africa where more than half of the population is being passed by (things are often better in places where itrigation is possible). It is about 20 years since beekeeping became a generally recognised theme in development planning. The results of these two decades of beekeeping development have been mixed. Overgeneralising a little, one could say that the best results were achieved with relatively well off, educated beekeepers, European (imported) bees, and in temperate climates. Poor farmers with vicious or otherwise “strange” bees in the least developed tropical countries often gained nothing. The fact that poor farmers are often passed by has been observed not only in beekeeping development, but in agricultural development in general. It has been realised that the usual “technology-transfer” model of development does not work with farmers who have little or no resources available to them. These farmers typically do not adopt the “solutions” suggested by experts. A lack of fit between the problems and proposed solutions, as the farmers themselves perceive them, has been identified as the major reason for nonadoption. Therefore, a development strategy for resource-poor farmers should start with the farmers’ own perception of their problems, using the knowledge and technology they already possess. One such strategy is Farming Systems Research and Development (FSR&D), in which the area and group of farmers to be reached are first defined. It is then necessary to discover what the main problems of these farmers are. Next, solutions to these problems are sought and communicated back to the farmers. If they think these solutions might work for them, they try them out on their farms. If the solutions work, they are passed on unbelievingly fast by the farmers themselves (one solution to problems with maize spread over all of Kenya in three years, without any extension effort). Maybe this new strategy sounds like common sense, but for Africa at least it is more like a revolution than a reform. The revolutionary think is that “experts” go to farmers and try to learn from them. The main point is not to find a new name for old practices, but to change ways of doing things: the resource-poor beekeeper has to be put in the centre of beekeeping development. It has to be the beekeeper who identifies problems, it has to be the beekeeper who chooses which technology should be tested, and it has to be their adoption or non-adoption that evaluates a development effort.


As recently as 1960, almost two-thirds of Thailand was covered by primary forest, but indiscriminate felling has resulted in the loss of over half of this most precious resource.

In 1980 Thailand's Royal Forestry Department, with assistance from UNDP and FAO started a pilot project aimed at restoring Thailand's depleted forests. The idea was to develop a longterm programme to meet farmers’ needs and at the same time restore forest reserves. The answer they arrived at was “Social Forestry” which focuses on people as much as trees. The 8000 Thais living on 10000 ha near Nakhon Ratchasima on the Khorat Plateau had already destroyed their forest through traditional “slash and burn” agriculture. The government is now determined to break the pattern which is much the same ail over Thailand: trees are cut, the land cover burned and crops are grown for a few years until the soil is worn out. The farmers then move on to a new forested area where the process begins again.


At first local people were suspicious of Mr Danso (FAO chief technical advisor) and his colleagues. Before, when foresters called it usually meant they would be moved or taxed. The foresters often felt no less hostile to farmers. They saw them as uneducated lawbreakers, cutting trees and spoiling the parks that they were supposed to protect. Mr Danso and his colleagues first conducted a year-long survey to find out what the settlers of Nakhon Ratchasima wanted and what their needs were. Data was collected on their settlement patterns, their crops and their expectations for the future. It was found that most wanted to stay on the land and to farm. The survey showed that 60% of the land was suitable for agriculture, so it was decided to provide farmers with new economic opportunities and services that would encourage them to settle down permanently. The remaining 40% of the land would be reforested to prevent the erosion of steep hillsides and destruction of


watersheds, as well as to replenish the national forest. With survey results in hand, the programme was designed: villages would be formed, trees planted, agriculture improved, roads, schools and health centres built and village councils created to make decisions in co-operation with the Forestry Department. As the farmers became more involved, Mr Danso and other FAO advisers worked with them in experimenting with new crops, such as cotton, soybeans and peanuts. Beekeeping was introduced to boost income and serve as a diet supplement. Cottage industries — sewing, weaving and furniture mak— were established, and low-cost ing kilns made from focal materials were constructed to burn wood for charcoal more efficiently. Meanwhile the Forestry Department planted pine, acacia, calliandra and paper mulberry trees on the steepest slopes. In addition, fast-growing eucalyptus trees were planted in and around the forest villages. When villagers saw trees 10 m high after only two years they asked for seedlings. Result: over 3.5 million seedlings were distributed free. Over 70 km of roads were built, making the marketing of crops easier. 19 small dams were also constructed to


provide water during the dry season.

The variety of crops, animals and trees

insure that work is available in all seasons. Nowadays, if crops are poor of prices low, income frorn other sources is usually available. 41 farmers trained in

beekeeping currently produce 30 tonnes of honey every year from 370 bee colonies. Beekeepers have been so successful that some have saved enough money to buy cattle. After six years the results are plainly visible. Hillsides are covered with young forests. Villages resemble tree-covered parks. Most houses are surrounded with fruit trees, herbs and gardens. Nearby fields are planted in corn, cassava and cotton. The rougher terrain supports eucalyptus and acacia. “The Royal Forestry Department has undergone another fundamental transformation” says the Project Director. “Its philosophy has evolved from a tradition of conservation to emphasising sustainable forestry. Without that change it would have been difficult for foresters, who had blamed farmers for cutting trees, to work with them effectively”.

(UNDP World Development, November 1988)



Large-scale deforestation has taken place in Tanzania, with an undocumented loss of forest estimated to be around 300 000 ha per annum. Some parts of Tanzania are already suffering from desertification. Miombo is open canopy, dry woodland particularly characterised by the tree species Julbernardia and Brachystegia, which are prolific nectar producers. Miombo is being cleared rapidly for shifting cultivation, fuelwood, grazing and permanent pasture. To reverse this trend, sustainable use of forest resources must be encouraged. Beekeeping has of course long been traditional activity in the miombo woodlands of Tanzania, and foresta dwelling people are highly skilled in this activity. As a sustainable use of forest resources, beekeeping fits well with TFAP criteria and accordingly appropriate support for beekeeping will be included in the action plan for Tanzania.

THE SEARCH FOR APPROPRIATE BEEKEEPING TECHNOLOGY There is a Swedish saying that if you sample 100 beekeepers you will find 100 inventors of beekeeping technology and as many different ways of managing honeybees. From an international viewpoint this saying is also very true when looking at traditional or self-taught beekeepers. Modern beekeeping systems use standardised methods and equipment. Such modern systems are often transferred regardless of the great variation in conditions for beekeeping in different countries or areas. In this article will discuss the consequences of the lack of appropriate technology that Tesult from careless technology transfer in tropical and subtropical beekeeping. |

Traditional beekeeping

Beekeeping in its real sense first develOped when honey hunters in different Parts of the world learnt to maintain Colonies of bees in fixed-comb hives.

Traditional beekeeping systems were very appropriate to the conditions where they developed. Generally speaking, traditional beekeeping systems can be characterised as follows: a) Traditional beekeepers use cheap, local materials (whatever is available) to produce their equipment. b) Traditional beekeepers are not used to making investments and use very few tools. c) Almost all traditional systems build on a concept of minimal management. The beekeepers prepare the hives and place them in a suitable locality where they are left without management until the time of honey harvest. d) With few exceptions honey is harvested only once a year, and very often the colony is destroyed or severely damaged in the process. The traditional beekeeper is normally found among the rural poor and has no formal education or capital resources. Beekeeping know-how has been transferred by word of mouth within the society or through individual trial and error experiments. f) The output per bee colony is very low, compared to the potential output in advanced beekeeping under the same conditions. The beekeeper sometimes compensates for this by using a greater number of traditional bee hives. Traditional beekeepers accept that their products may often be of low quality: consumption is usually local and immediate. Gg) Product prices are often very low except in societies where honey is held in high regard, for instance as a medicine.


by B Svensson

Modem beekeeping

The Langstroth and Dadant standards totally dominate the world market, but some European standards (Russian, Zander, British Standard, German Normal-frame etc.) can also be found in very odd circumstances. Modern beekeeping systems can be characterised as follows:

a) Modern beekeeping builds on a large input of comparatively expensive and sophisticated equipment that is normally delivered from specialised producers. b) This equipment is designed for rational and mechanised production on a commercial scale, and large investments are therefore often required to set up an operation. c) Modern beekeepers can, and have to manage their colonies intensively throughout the season using movable-frame hives to strive for maximum productivity. d) Cars and other transport are often used to make use of different nectar flows (or pollination) and to prolong the season as much as possible. e) The beekeeper is often very well trained and has know-how ranging from bee botany and biology to mechanical engineering and business management. f) The modern beekeeper is striving for maximum output, highest productivity and optimum quality of products. g) Product prices are often comparatively high in modern beekeeping and

beekeepers sometimes involve themselves in the marketing of products during the off-season. Developing countries are still dependent on industrialised countries for technology transfer, and there is generally a pronounced desire amongst decision makers to look for high technology solutions to development problems. This desire coincides with the efforts from high technology producers to increase their export sales. Authorities in developed countries also support such efforts to increase exports. Modern beekeeping as described above is an example of such ‘high technology’. The indiscriminate spread of modern beekeeping technology to developing countries is helping to consolidate the dependence of poor countries on rich donors. It can also be said to hamper development towards a new economic world order and true independence for developing countries. Such beekeeping development must be inappropriate for its purpose. Many

examples can be listed where for instance comb foundation, Langstroth hives and centrifugal extractors have been imported to countries where it was inadvisable from biological, technological, social and economical points of


Intermediate beekeeping

It is always advisable to strive for a continuous development process starting from the old traditions already in existence through successive improvements towards a beekeeping technology that is appropriate for its purposes. Such intermediate steps have been taken in many different countries. In a few cases they have been shown to be very successful and have even spread to other countries, for example the Greek hive with top-bars, the Kenya top-bar hive and the African long hive. But in most other cases, beekeepers that use intermediate hives and techniques have had difficulties in succeeding on a large scale. Sometimes such experiments have even been forgotten although very promising results were achieved at the research stage. Reasons for such failures could be: 1. Lack of communication between research workers and practical beekeepers. 2. Many different parties involved in beekeeping efforts and lack of cooperation between them. 3. Poor contacts between agencies in developing countries and the corresponding donor agencies in industrialised countries. 4. High rate of circulation of personnel within different agencies.

Inappropriate nology

beekeeping tech-

The list of countries where inappropriate beekeeping technologies have been tried could be very depressing. We can

find examples of both traditional, intermediate and modern beekeeping in development projects, that are inappropriate under certain conditions. A particular beekeeping project could be burdened by inappropriate technology if any of the following signs are visible: 1.

Productivity among beekeepers is unexpectedly low. 2. Beekeepers are not willing to repay loans. 3. Beekeepers are not trying to expand their activities on their own. 4. Traditional beekeepers or other persons do not voluntarily adopt the practices suggested by beekeeping project members.

5. Beekeeping advisors or extension workers are not starting up as beekeepers on their own.

Below are listed a few examples of what can go wrong when inappropriate technology has been chosen:

a) The climate - cracks between the hive parts, too


large an entrance or artificial ventilation will cause great trouble for the bees under hot or very humid climatic conditions hives placed on the ground will easily be spoiled in areas susceptible to flooding or with heavy rainfall

talking about ‘cold* or ‘warm‘ orientation of frames is useless in nontemperate areas storage of used combs is almost impossible due to the wax moth problem in hot climates - water feeding of bees is often neglected in hot climates. b) Food resources for the bees : incorrect opinions about where and when bees collect nectar and pollen are very common * lack of understanding of the biology of honeybees is very common * suitable feeding equipment is very «



sugar feeding outside the hive is common, and provokes robbing * understanding of the importance of pre-season and after-harvest feeding is very rare many colonies die or abscond during the off-season due to food shortage many hives are often painted in the same colour and oriented in the same direction, which encourages drifting of individual bees and robbing too many colonies are placed in each apiary. c) Honeybees used + indefensible interest in importation of Apis mellifera bees * equipment meant for A. mellifera is commonly used for other species (see under (d) below) * lack of knowledge about the proper bee space or comb space for the local bees » lack of knowledge about the importance of appropriate hive design for the local bees, to control diseases, swarming, absconding, and honey quality + general mismanagement of the bees. d) Hives and other equipment *





hives made of wood are often unable to resist termites or moisture

hives are placed on the ground or on unsuitable stands - swarm catcher boxes are often placed too near the ground - cracks in the hives force the bees to waste time on defensive behaviour, fanning or robbing expensive and wasteful use of wood in constructing eg hive stands, dovetailed boxes, or Hoffman spacing of frames imported comb foundation of incorrect dimensions + imported plastic equipment; for example frames of varying dimensions, or propolis grids to countries where propolis production is not feasible - entrance boards that invite parasites and predators - incorrect or variable hive dimensions and the bee space on top instead of below frames importation of queen excluders of the size needed by European bees importation of frames or boxes for odd European standards (sometimes even frames without boxes) + expensive importation of accessory tools such as smokers, hive tools, bee brushes, veils and overalls that could easily have been produced locally or may not even be necessary - electrical extractors given to the rural poor who have no access to electricity - use of frames although comb foundation is not available. e) Methods of bee management regular inspection of hives or regular honey extraction is taught even where unnecessary or impossible - ‘school-book' management without adaptation to local conditions temperate zone beekeeping management practices under tropical conditions - lack of hive inspection, or mismaof bees and equipment nagement from a hygienic or economic point of view - extraction of uncapped or unripe honey, sometimes even centrifugal extraction of combs without use of uncapping tools. «

f) Pests, diseases and poisoning +




unwarranted trust in any kind of drug, leading to misuse of drugs very little knowledge of bee biology or pathology and therefore no understanding of the biological measures and management practices needed to keep healthy bees introduction of new strains of bees with the risk of introducing pests and diseases incorrect hive design that invites

predators inappropriate siting of colonies or lack of water that can lead to severe pesticide damage. g) Human attitudes lack of proper knowledge and technical experience will often lead to -







mismanagement management of modern equipment with traditional methods dependency on assistance from instructors unjustified reliance on tools, protective equipment and vehicles for success in beekeeping too much attention given to small details of beekeeping while greater problems are disregarded women are often considered to be unsuitable as beekeepers for many different reasons (for instance because they are not meant to climb

trees) literature in bookshops is generally not appropriate for the local conditions - staff of foreign donor agencies are often biased about what kind of beekeeping is profitable under all conditions. The above list of misconceptions in beekeeping development is incomplete. But to summarise, would like to say that it is a great scandal that such a lot of hope, interest, energy and effort is lost because of all these misconceptions! *





nology Since natural conditions vary so much (eg climate, bees, flora, resources, socio- economic conditions), it is very important to identify the most appropriate technology choice in each particular situation. Before taking any steps towards changing an existing beekeeping system or before introducing beekeeping to a new area or a group of the

population, it is always advisable to undertake very careful investigations i.e. a feasibility study. Drescher and Crane (1982 Technical cooperation activities: beekeeping. A directory and guide) give a very detailed suggestion for what elements should be included in such a feasibility study. In would addition to their suggestions add the importance of collecting facts on the socio-economic situation in the target area. For instance: a) Where are the present beekeepers and what incomes, standards of living and education do they have? b) How is the income, the land and the political power distributed among people in the target area? c) What could be the socio-economic consequences of a beekeeping pro|



Central Africa has a widespread tradition of producing large quantities of honey and wax and the region remains the major supplier of beeswax to the world market. Most of this wax is produced from traditional hives despite recent efforts to make modern and intermediate technology hives available to small-scale producers. In many cases traditional technology remains the most profitable to the beekeeper. Why do beekeepers prefer to continue with traditional hives? The answer lies in the economic characteristics of the different technologies, the labour and investment requirements and the effect of ecological conditions. Using this information a theoretical model can be constructed to allow comparison between incomes to the beekeeper. Using data from North-Western Zambia the model shows that beekeeping with traditional hives is more profitable except in extremely favourable conditions. This accounts for the popularity of bark hive beekeeping and the failure of modern beekeeping in the area. the North West Province of Zambia beekeeping is a traditional activity: using hives made entirely of materials gathered from forests beekeepers are able to produce beeswax on a large scale. In the 19th and early 20th centuries beeswax production was the main industry of the Tegion and supplied colonialist powers with much needed raw material. Production was by the thousands of smallscale, part-time beekeepers for whom the wax was a valuable commodity to exchange for manufactured items. Beekeeping also produced honey. As much honey as possible was made into the In


ject within different groups of the population?

d) Which part of the population would benefit most from beekeeping devel-

opment? Which target group should be chosen? When the feasibility study is ready and the target group has been selected, the Project can go on with experiments in a small pilot project, and after a few years further evaluations can guide the project on a larger scale. Only at this stage can a profitable beekeeping system be ready to be distributed among people on a wide scale. Consequently, honey and wax, as well as agricultural production will increase to the benefit of poor farmers, landless people and the whole of society.

Conclusion Identifying technology appropriate for

beekeeping development programmes becomes easier when planners have a deep understanding of the biology of honeybees, and of the socio-economic and cultural implications of different technologies. A worldwide interchange of information on the successes and failures in beekeeping development would also be of great value in the search for appropriate beekeeping techNology. This article is abbreviated from the paper given by Mr Svensson at the Fourth International

Conference on Apiculture in Tropical Climates in Cairo last November. The full paper will be published in the Conference Proceedings,

available shortly from IBRA.

famous honey beer, but during plentiful seasons beekeepers had no alternative but to squeeze honey onto the forest floor, keeping only the wax. The bees would soon find the honey and “recycle” it. By 1978 the beekeeping industry had declined in the area and was only practised by a dwindling population of older men. At that time an Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was being established at Kabompo by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development with the assistance of the German Agency for Technical Co- operation, GTZ. The entire local population felt that beekeeping was an underutilised resource: revitalisation of beekeeping was a priority. After analysing the situation the IRDP implemented a project to help increase incomes from beekeeping. The existing bark hive technology proved to be an adequate base to enable the beekeepers to expand production and attract new recruits to their groups. The major constraint was lack of access both locally and overseas to major markets for honey. A mobile system was therefore set up to provide easy access to a marketing point. Producer prices were made attractive and responsive to the market situation. This systern eventually took the form of a limited company owned jointly by the beekeepers and District Councils, to ensure continued profitability and local accountability. Results so far have been positive, with honey production and the number of participating beekeepers increasing.

Attempts to introduce modern technology: experts proved wrong Initial plans to increase benefits to the rural poor through beekeeping had as-

sumed that this could be done only by substituting the traditional hive design with more modern technology: the box hive. This approach has been implemented in many African countries and is often official government policy. However the results were unsatisfactory, the small-scale producer was unable to operate the new technology profitably without support from loans, subsidies and technical assistance. Most of these hives are now abandoned or put to a


Traditional and modern hives in the same tree. A useful chance to compare technologies. different use.

Traditional beekeeping produces the majority of honey and wax in Africa today and virtually all subsistence farmers and beekeepers use this technology. Where the beekeeper is in a position to make a choice, the traditional technology has proved the most profitable in terms of the return for labour and capital invested. Income from traditional beekeeping is less dependent on optimum environmental conditions making it profitable even in marginal areas and producing income during poor seasons when beekeepers with modern hives would make a loss. Modem technology remains the most productive and profitable for larger scale operations which are provided with adequate investment and appropriate management.

Beekeeping and life-style For beekeepers of North West Province, beekeeping is not only a source of income, it is also a way of life. Therefore the decision to adopt a new technology is not made on purely financial grounds. If beekeepers take up a new technology

their whole way of life will change. It is obvious that traditional beekeeping has cultural value: traditional beekeeping is carried out in small camps deep in the bush, the beekeepers spend several weeks there cropping honey and the evenings are spent round the campfire drinking honey beer and talking. The worries and problems of the village are far away. Modern beekeeping on the other hand takes place near the home, the hives are valuable and must be checked every day. It is a different way of life which does not seem so attractive to these beekeepers.

Environmental variations and honey production Honey production is dependent on many factors beyond beekeepers’ control and variations of +100% are usually due to environmental factors, which in Zambia appear to follow a cycle of approximately four years. To some extent the beekeeper tries to minimise the effect of variations through management techniques, however variations in honey production and occupation of hives will occur in even the best managed apiaries. Some causes of low occupation rates are absconding of colonies because of fires and attacks by ants, honey badgers and thieves. The bark hive beekeeper minimises these risks by placing hives over a wide area, suspended high in trees to avoid fires and deter enemies. However, for box hive beekeepers to carry out essential management, hives have to be at ground level in a group




conveniently near to habitation. This means that the entire apiary is at risk of destruction through attacks by enemies, fire and thieves and much of the beekeepers’ activities are aimed at preventing this. Patterns of labour requirement

For the potential of box hives to be utilised fully they must be managed intensively. Only in this way may a higher level of production per colony be achieved than is possible with bark hives. The labour which a beekeeper invests in an apiary will vary according to the hive occupation rate and the average production per colony. The bark hive beekeeper expends most labour in cropping, transporting and processing: this is directly related to production. The box hive beekeeper expends most labour in managing the colonies: this is directly related to the hive occupation rate. Other labour, loan repayments and depreciation will be constant and independent of variations in production and occupation.

Which bee hive gives the best income? Ideally this question should be answered on the basis of results from controlled trials of the different technologies carried out over a number of years in conditions appropriate to the target group of beekeepers. However this data is not available: the only method to determine the income to the beekeeper is to construct a model based on the writer's experience with box and bark hives in Zambia, and an understanding of bee-

of costs and labour requirements of bark and box hives. 100 bark hives


24 box


Joan repayment



K.540.00 k™540.00

Fixed labour:

inspections catching hive replacement




days 12 days

21 days

Variable labour: Management

introduction 1.0 day/40 kg 2.0 day/40 kg 1.0 day/40 kg


transporting processing Revenue per



1.0 day/40 kg

comb honey

kg comb honey when pressed:

0.80 kg liquid honey 0.07 kg wax 2

comb honey comb honey comb honey

2.4 day/occupation 0.6 day/occupation

cups honey beer

@ @ @

K3.00/kg K15.00/kg KO.50/kg


40 05 00



average value CIF Europe: honey K6.40/kg, wax K23.00/kg. These figures are the average results of processing 30 tons of comb honey using Mountain Grey honey presses.


Costs are calculated according to Zambian values = US$0.125.

May 1988,


Zambian Kwacha

keeping using the different technoilogies. The few independent records available are also used. In order to compare the net incomes from bark hives and box hives the different labour and investment requirements must be considered as well as the sensitivity of net income to variations in occupation rates and production per hive. The analysis shown in Table 1 compares the bark hive to the top-bar hive. Frame hives are not commercially available at unsubsidised prices in Zambia and would cost at least twice as much as a top-bar hive. Non-essential purchased equipment such as smokers and veils are not considered. It is assumed that the box hive is purchased with a soft loan repayable over ten years at zero interest and that all occupied hives are cropped. The calculations are average part-time operation (100 days of work per year) with 24 box hives or 100 bark hives.

Comparison of incomes from bark and box hives

From the data shown in Table 1 for costs and labour requirements and the ‘value of comb honey harvested, it is possible to calculate the beekeeper’s theoretical income per day worked. This allows comparison between the incomes from the two technologies under different environmental conditions.

Curves (a) and (c) on Figure 1 show the different combinations of occupation rate and amount of honey cropped necessary to yield an income of K12.00 per day, the average casual labour rate in Zambia. For the box hive the break even point is also indicated (b): at levels below this curve the beekeeper wouid make a net loss. Curve (c) shows that to make an average wage the box hive beekeeper needs to achieve exceptionally high yields. According to experience the Zambian box hive beekeeper can expect to crop 40% of hives each year with a yield of 21.6 kg comb honey per hive '. According to the model this would result in a large loss: to secure an average income at this rate of occupancy a production of 40 kg per hive is necessary. The bark hive beekeeper will almost certainly receive an income exceeding K12.00/day provided 20% of hives can be cropped. Even when only 10% of hives are cropped the average income will be exceeded provided hive yields exceed 10kg per colony. Average recorded productions from bark hives are 6.9-8.5 kg with 12.5-18% of hives cropped!2. This corresponds to an income of K13.00 and K14.35/day respectively.

Constraints on production of honey from bark hives The traditional beekeeper Training usually produces honey for beer brewing whereas most external markets are for table honey. The producer has to be trained in the specific quality requirements of the external market which differ from the quality required for beer

brewing. Bark hive makNatural resources ing destroys the very trees which the beekeeper needs for honey production. Therefore sufficient areas of forest are Tequired to sustain hive-making activities and provide forage for the bees. However bark hive beekeeping in Zambia ranks as a very minor and selective use of the forest resource and is not Tesponsible for deforestation. On the contrary the bark hive beekeepers are the foremost guardians of the forest from which they receive their livelihood.

manufacturing bark hives to ensure a high ratio of uncropped : cropped hives. The box hive Honey for the bees beekeeper tries to ensure that bees survive the dearth season by leaving some honey or by feeding. For the bark hive beekeeper a better policy might be to crop a small proportion of the hives but transport of the honey by vehicle. The beekeeper with Cropping ratio hives many occupied is unable to crop them all. This means that a hive might stay two to five years without cropping. During this time large reserves of honey can accumulate and many swarms are produced to occupy other empty hives. The opposite situation where a beekeeper crops all the hives, including new occupations, is not so productive.


The most cost-

effective activity is the construction of hives. To take full advantage of the possibilities of the technology the beekeeper should invest time in to harvest all the combs from these colonies. This would leave many colonies undisturbed and give a greater assurance of the survival of sufficient swarming colonies. 1


SILBERRAD, R E M (1976) Beekeeping in Zambia. Bucharest, Romania; Apimondia Publishing House WENDORF, H (1987) Peasant beekeepers and the impact of IRDP in Zambia's North Western Province — Zambezi District. Berlin, GFR; Free University






{%) 50

40 30









Production honey/hive/year)

K12.00/day from bark hives break even points for box hives income K12.00/day from box hives

a = income b = c


Figure 1. Daily net income possible from box and bark hives according to hive occupation and productivity, Research is needed to maximise productivity of bark hive beekeeping In order to maximise production the bark hive beekeepers’ activities must be Planned according to the economic characteristics of the technology, which will differ greatly from those of the box hive. Previously there has been the tend€ncy amongst extension workers to Carry over assumptions relevant to box hives. There is a need to develop adapted bark hive management techniques based on properly controlled field trials.

Production in a Limiting factors good year is often limited by the labour Ttequired to carry honey to the marketing Point. This can be solved by organisation of beekeepers into large groups and construction of tracks to allow


Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Mede llin

IBRA BRANCH LIBRARIES In addition to the main IBRA library housed at IBRA Headquarters in Cardiff there are four other IBRA libraries in Colombia, Kenya, India and Japan. The Branch Library in Colombia is based in the Faculty of Science at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin. Dr Gilberto Morales Soto writes that all the available information is located in the Biology Building. There are more than 2400 papers and almost 80 books covering bee biology, taxonomy, behaviour, pests and diseases, beekeeping techniques and Africanized bees. At present information is indexed according to subject and author and these indices will shortly be transferred to computer. Most of the material in the library has been provided from IBRA Headquarters, but some has been bought by the University or been donated by authors. The Library is mainly used by students and others from universities or official institutions in Colombia. The library has received some requests and visitors from Argentina, Chile and Mexico, and welcomes further use by those outside Colombia.

(Gilberto Morales Soto)

Many of those involved with beekeeping development will be sad to hear of the death of Professor Gordon Townsend. Gordon Townsend was Professor of Apiculture at Guelph, Canada between 1945 and 1980, and also served as airman of the IBRA Council from 1968 to 1983. Gordon Townsend worked with a wide range of beekeeping and was, for example, instrumental in establishing the project in Guinea Bissau (below). Many of his former students from Africa and Asia now hold positions of responsibility in their home countries, and will remember him with affection.


CANDLE MAKING USING BEESWAX by Héléne Couture and Denis Guzzi

At the Fourth International Conference

on Apiculture in Tropical Climates held in Cairo in November 1988 delegates heard from Janet Maxwell and Pierre Rousseau of the candle-making technique which has been developed by the MRDP/CECI beekeeping project in Gabu region, Guinea-Bissau. The introduction of this simple candle-making method using local beeswax was a key success in the early stages of the project, motivating beekeepers to participate in the project. Following many requests for further information, the original inventors of the idea, Denis Guzzi and Héléne Couture have kindly provided the following guide. This is a simple method of making candles using materials which can be found in most villages where honey is collected. The following instructions are the result of numerous experiments to obtain the best possible results (slow burning and maximum luminescence) but with simple production methods. Candles made in this way for domestic and religious use represent an interesting source of revenue for the craftsman turned seller for they compare favourably with imported candles and they even look similar. Our hope in producing the following guide is that anyone who follows the directions will easily make candles of good quality. Materials and basic equipment required

Clean beeswax, thin boo canes, honey, 500 ml), saucepan, some leaves (Figure

cotton string, bama tin can (about water, a knife and 1).

Figure 2. Slivers of wood resting in notches cut into the bamboo will hold the wick in place. Mould preparation Collect some straight bamboo canes and cut into 13cm lengths. Choose 8

Figure 3. Measuring the cotton string ready to make the wick.

Figure 4. Plaiting the wick.

sections with an internal diameter of about 21 mm (usually fully-grown bamboo corresponds best to these dimensions). Choose canes with thick walls — their deterioration will be slower. At each end of the mould cut two

equal notches. Then make two slivers of bamboo slightly longer than the width of the mould ~ the slivers will be inserted into the notches to hold the wick. The notches with slivers of wood in position can be seen in Figure 2.

Making the wick Using the cotton string and the mould measure the wick as follows: hold the string at one end of the mould, wrap the string round to the other end twice (shown in Figure 3) and cut it. Using this Piece of string measure two more Pieces the same length. Pass these three strings around the centre of a bamboo cane the size of a pencil, making sure that you finish with six equal lengths. Plait the strings using them in pairs (Figure 4), keeping an even tension and knot the ends when finished. It is important that the wick is as smooth, straight and even as possible. Melting the wax Choose clean, yellow wax and cut it into small pieces. Put the wax into the tin can the edges of which have been hammered to form a spout for pouring. Put about 350 ml of water into the pan. Now put the tin can into the pan taking care it does not tip over or that any water gets into the can (Figure 5). Place the pan on a fire and wait for the wax to melt. DO



Figure 5, Melting the wax in a water bath. Preparation of the mould Whilst the wax is melting put the moulds close to the fire to get them as hot as possible so that the temperature difference between the wax and mould is minimal.

Take one of the bamboo splinters and attach a wick to it using a slipknot.

* 1



Moulds ready for filling with wax.

To the other end of the wick attach a cord of the same length as the wick. Smear honey round the inside of the mould. Thread the cord through the mould and then the wick, taking care not to get honey on it. Fasten the wick to the second sliver of bamboo and pull the wick into the centre of the mould. Pull the wick tight and attach it to the mould with more cotton. If you are preparing several moulds at one time as soon as you finish this stage put them near the fire or in the sun having chosen a spot which is out of draughts. Make several holes about 2 cm deep and the same width as the mould. Put the moulds into the holes, pressing them firmly into the ground and pack soil around the mould to prevent wax leaking out. Figure 6 shows wicks in place inside moulds, ready to be filled with molten wax.

Casting/Moulding When the wax is totally liquefied wait another 2-3 minutes before taking the pan from the heat. Using a cloth take the can from the pan and pour the molten wax into the moulds. Cover the surface of the wax using a leaf as a stopper (Figure 7). Wait for at least two hours. Best results are achieved if the candle is allowed to set slowly. After every third mould put the can of wax back in the pan to stop the wax getting too cold.

Demoulding Take the leaf off the end of the mould. Figure 8 shows a candle after the wax



Pouring the liquid wax into the moulds.

has set, ready to be removed from the mould. Remove the bamboo splinters taking care not to move the wick whilst doing so. Begin pushing the candle out of the mould from the end that has been stoppered (Figure 9). Using a knife cut away the soil and spoiled wax from the end that was stuck in the ground, taking care not to cut the wick (Figure 10). 9


ik: 4+





Figure 9. Extracting the candle out of the mould.

Figure 8. The candle inside a mould.


Figure 10. Using a knife to cut away soiled wax without damage to the wick. Pull lightly on the wick to undo the slip knot. You will get a curl in the wick where the knot has been undone — this is the end to light the finished candle. Cut the other end of the wick taking care not to decentralise it. Wipe away any honey residue on the candle with a damp cloth (without wetting the wick) and roll the candle in tissue to keep it free from dust (Figure 11). Clean the mould making sure no soil has got inside it.

Probiems you may encounter making candles in this way: 1. Cracks may appear running along or across the candle as you are removing it from the mould. To avoid this happening it is essential that the wax is very hot (but without boiling) at the time it is poured into the mould and that the mould is as warm as possible. If you make your candles at midday in a draught-free place you can be assured of a good result. 2. Ashallow dip may appear around the 10

Figure 11. Wrapping the candle for storing after washing away residues of honey.

wick at the end where the wax was poured in. This problem occurs if the mould is not hot enough or it cools too quickly when full. If the ambient temperature is not good enough to avoid this proceed in the following way: 20 minutes after casting take out the leaf stopper and re- fill the dip with hot wax. Replace the leaf over the surface of the wax.

candle will emit is proportional to the length of the wick burning in the flame. Always ensure that the candle is upright when lit. To accomplish this we suggest the use of a ‘knot of bamboo’ as a candlestick to steady the candle and to collect any unburnt wax.

Good luck!

The above method is the result of many experiments. We have chosen measure-

ments that give the best results in terms of longevity, luminescence and ease of production. For example we have tried using longer moulds but it was difficult to coat the inside with honey and the number of cracks in the finished candles was doubled. Our experiments resulted in choice of the method described above. Several points on the use of candles. When putting the candle out make sure that the wick does not break (it will be very fragile) as the amount of light the

Figure 12. The finished candle in a bamboo candlestick.


INDIA The Punjab government has decided to set up honey processing plants to improve the quality of honey being produced by the state beekeepers. This was announced at a state level conference of 700 beekeepers. The beekeepers brought to the notice of the state government the problems they face. The





Beekeeping is being encouraged by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, with increasing success each year. This work has been carried out at 50 beekeeping stations in Mandalay, Sagaing, Rangoon, Magwe and Pegu Divisions and Karen State. There are now more than 3000 colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. Short-term beekeeping courses have been conducted since 1985 and so far 935 such courses have taken place. In 1987-88 colonies of bees were migrated to some 160000 ha of oil seed crops. The Department is giving priority to producing pure honey for domestic consumption and it exports only the surplus. The current annual target for honey production is 17000kg and production is expected to exceed this target. The Beekeeping Department is selling honey and other products such as Satumadu, garlic honey, ginger honey, cookies made of honey, honey bread, honey pudding and concentrated honey wine at the Diplomatic Stores, department stores and stalls of the Livestock Breeding Corporation. We hope that beekeeping will replace the cultivation of the

(Indian Express,

COOK ISLANDS Aworkshop on the care and management of bees for honey production was held at the University of the South Pacific Centre, Rarotonga in July 1988. Sponsorship was provided by CTA (The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation) and IRETA (The Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture). 15 beekeepers from both public and private sectors travelled from Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Niue and Western Samoa to join Cook Island beekeepers for the workshop. For five days they received lectures on the management of honeybees, honey handling, maintenance of equipment, diseases, and the role of government regulations in beekeeping, and also participated in field work.

(Workshop co-ordinator, Dr S Victor Rajakulendran)


1988. Sent by




opium poppy, making pure honey available for domestic consumption and for export and help increase production of various crops by ensuring pollination.

(The Guardian, 29 February 1988. Sent by Saw Aung Myint)

main points included marketing facilities, higher limit of loan, processing plants to improve the quality of honey and related facilities like quality boxes and training facilites. It was suggested that the government should open honey bars on the pattern of milk bars and an official should be appointed in each district for this purpose. Mrs Parween Singh, who has been exporting honey, demanded that licences should be issued to export honey. Mr Manohar Singh Gill (additional chief secretary) said another meeting would be held at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana to discuss points raised by the beekeepers. Punjab presently produces 700 tonnes of honey and the ultimate potential is 90 000 tonnes. There are 6500 beekeepers in the state with 68 000 colonies. The Punjab government started the beekeeping scheme on a pilot basis in Gurdaspur district in 1982 and later extended it to Hoshiarpur, Roapr and Ludhiana districts in 1987-88. The districts of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Sangrur have been included in the current year. The Punjab government is considering a proposal to introduce a scheme under which the PAIC would undertake procurement of honey, processing and reselling on a pilot project basis.

COSTA RICA An IDB loan to Fundacién de Clubes 4-S (FUNAC) was designed to meet the needs for credit of low-income youth in Costa Rica. FUNAC is a government agency that helps young, rural people who lack access to tradi-

tional sources of rural credit. Rafael Fallas Urefia, 20 years old, of Santa Maria de Dota, received a loan of 6025 colones (about US$600) from the 4-S Club to purchase bees and hives to start his project. Rafael helps support his family selling honey from the hives, and also works as a house painter. He received a second 4-S Club loan of 6300 colonies to purchase pollen collectors (pollen sells for 300 colones per kilogram). During his first year of operation he had a net profit of 9125 colones. He invested a little more than half this (5000 colones) back into his business, buying a honey extractor and materials for a shed which he built himself to house his beekeeping equipment.

(InterAmerican Development Bank)

UNIFEM, the Consultative Committee of the UN Development Fund for Women convened its 24th session in New York last September. This Committee meets twice a year to identify priority projects for immediate financing. 12 projects requiring US$3.5 million were pin-pointed, including a credit scheme to help rural women with a beekeeping production programme in Morocco.

(UNDP 1988)




MOZAMBIQUE A national meeting was held in October 1988 with the objective of examining the activities of the National Beekeeping Programme since its establishment five years ago. 75 participants represented every province of Mozambique, and discussed the organisation of the programme, and the training provided. Resolutions passed at the meeting included a request that farmers who undertake fumigation programmes must inform neighbouring beekeepers, and that introduction to beekeeping should be compulsory in training institutions. (Mathew Kawa, Beekeeping Technical Advisor)


NORTH KOREA Honey is widely used in Korea as the basic material for honey buns, honey candies and tea, as well as for kyongokgo and other traditional Korean tonics and restoratives. It is one of the foodstuffs which helps man to live long and is much in demand. Mt Oga is situated in the northern mountainous region of Korea; it is covered with primary forest where many plants grow, including wild Insam (ginseng) a celebrated elixir of life. The mountain belongs to Hwapyong County, Changang Province. The honey produced in this country is popular throughout the whole nation. Native bees were traditionally kept in wooden hives. The honey quality was good, but productivity was very low. Bees such as the “improved golden” and “biack species” are now kept in square hives to raise their productivity. The native bees produce less honey per hive than the “improved” species, but their respective yearly output totals about the same. This is because the keeping of the improved species is confined to the period from May to July, but the native bees produce honey throughout the summer (from May till September when there are frosts). The honey produced by native bees in traditional hives is of good quality, with a moisture content of 7-10%. Honey harvested from the “improved” bees in square hives contains 30-40% moisture. The native bees are quite vital. They are far more resistant to diseases than the “improved” species and withstand cold weather and humidity well. The “improved” bees can tide over the winter only above zero, but the native ones do not perish easily even in sub-zero temperatures. They need about half as much feed as the “improved” bees to pass the winter, and live much longer.

destroying 99% of some apiaries and 50% of others, however many hobbyist beekeepers ceded their places to professionals. Phenothiazine and strips impregnated with Amitraz are commonly used against Varroa. The greatest enemies of bees are hornets and wasps which are confronted with traps, glue, poison and nest destruction, and American and European foulbrood and waxmoth. Walid Kasso, a Syrian beekeeper with many hives, transports them to Damascus during winter because of the fine weather and the presence of a great variety of nectar flowers such as “Fejjayieh”, and the almond and apricot trees which bloom early and produce pollen for brood rearing. After Damascus the hives are moved to Golan where they remain until the end of May to take advantage of the clover, then they are taken to Kalamoon where anise and eucalyptus flower during June. Later they are transported to Houran and Alep to suck the ‘Hallab‘ which gives the best Syrian honey. A Beekeepers’ Association has now been founded in Syria. It quickly gathered hundreds of beekeepers (2000 in two months). The Ministry of Agriculture will also create two centres in Damascus and Lattakyeh for the selection and sales of Syrian queen bees. Syrian beekeeping develops with huge leaps: the variety and richness of the flower fields, the enthusiasm of the beekeepers, added to the favourable climate and the encouragement of the government and most of all, the high price of honey and the big demand, make beekeeping prospects 100% positive. (Rashid Yazbek, Yazbek Honey Est, Jedeidet Beirut, Lebanon)

veils, smokers and gloves. Other sources of funding have been the Caribbean Conference of Churches, Youth Skills Training Pro-

Peace Corps Volunteer Sideline Projects, and VSO who provided US$1000 “seed” money to help get the project off the ground. By tradition honey is sold on Nevis, and indeed in many West Indian islands, in rum bottles. On Nevis at present 375 g “squeeze bears” and 375 g “squeeze containers” are being introduced. These containers are lightweight, cheap to freight here and being plastic they do not break in transit. They are proving to be very popular with visitors to the island who are the greatest (and cheapest) exporters of ‘Delicious Nevis Honey‘! One of the problems of marketing honey in these islands is that most have their own small — and are underbeekeeping industry standably not inclined to import honey from elsewhere. Beeswax candles are being made from cappings and wax, and these too are popular with visitors.



(Quentin Henderson, Assistant on Nevis)


SYRIA Today, Syrian beekeepers have more than 50 000 Langstroth hives. The high price of honey (250 Syr per kg) and the brisk demand helped the progression of beekeeping at a yearly rate of more than 25%. Honey production per hive is 25-50 kg. It is easy to understand why Syrians did not abandon beekeeping in spite of all the damages that Varroa caused in 1984

(Korea Today)


NEVIS Prior to 1987 beekeepers on Nevis were mainly involved in “honey cutting” activities. That is, they would seek out feral nests of bees Apis mellifera and cut them for their honey. Wax, brood and bees were often lost, although the better “honey-cutters” would leave some brood and honey so the nest might eventually re- establish. In 1984 an ODA Land Use Specialist, Mr lan Corker was posted to Nevis, having previously had involvement with beekeepers on Montserrat. Mr Corker encouraged the formation of the Nevis Beekeepers’ Association and funds for ten Langstroth hives and other equipment were obtained from the British High Commission in Antigua. With the blessing of the Nevis Ministry of Agriculture, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) were approached to provide a volunteer. Barclays Bank International agreed to fund a monthly allowance and a motor-cycle for the volunteer. Since September 1987 there has been steady progress in movable-frame hive beekeeping on Nevis. USAID have provided US$5000 to purchase a further 80 beehives,

improved extracting equipment and more 12

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Attractive labelling can boost your honey sales. These labels have been developed by the Oku Honey Co-operative Society in Cameroon, West Africa. Non-beekeepers often enquire about the difference between granulated and liquid honey: a label such as this one can provide the solution! (labels sent by Bill Farmer, CDC, Cameroon).

HIVE-AID In Newsletters No 9 (1986) and No 12 (1988) the beekeeping programmes operated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) were listed. Projects listed in Newsletters No 9 and 12 are not shown again here, although many are still underway and some programmes may have been extended. This information is kindly supplied by G Paltrinieri, Food Industries Officer, Agricultural Services

Division, FAO.

At IBRA we welcome news of all beekeeping development projects, however large or small. Our intention is to stimulate exchange of information and co-operation between those involved in both planning and implementing beekeeping programmes. Since 1984 FAO has been responsible for the implementation of 55 beekeeping projects of which 16 were long-term (more than 12 months duration). Their regional distribution is shown:


Latin America and the Caribbean Near East

19 projects

Africa Asia and the Pacific

11 projects





8 projects 17




To evaluate potential for apiculture

Consultancy services.



Agricultural Diversification (Apiculture Component) BEN/87/014


Beekeeping study tour Kenya TCP/ETH/4409


Beekeeping Demonstration Centre TCP/SEY/8851

18 months


Apiculture Development TCP/AFG/2202

12 months

To establish

a training and demonstration apiary at the agricultural research station.

Advisory services. Local training. Equipment and materials.


Beekeeping Development for crop polli-



To assess the present situation of

Consultancy services.


3 months

To establish the potential for apicul-

Consultancy services.

Beekeeping for pollination of coconut and production of bee

18 months






development with special emphasis to women. 1


To strengthen the capability of the

External training.

To raise the income of part-time

Consultancy services. Local training. Equipment and materials.

ARDD. staff in the management techniques of apiculture projects.

beekeepers to increase horticultural output and to generate new sources of income through the introduction of beekeeping in new areas such as the Coralline Islands.


the bee industry in the country and to prepare a project document.




tance) BUR/87/004




tural development.

nut and other agricultural and horti-


TCP/MAL/885 1


Beekeeping and honey production development TCP/BRA/4402

12 months


Development of a pilot area for apiculture in the ‘“Juventino” island

12 months



12 months



to the National Union



of Women (Apiculture




Honey management and control of diseases


12 months

pests TC-



TCP/SUD/6766 Apiculture Development KUW/88/009


Consultancy services. Equipment and materials.

To improve honey production and

Consultancy services. External and local training. Equipment and materials.

To advise the working group


To train groups of women through

Consultancy services.

18 months

of Honeybees 12 months

Consultancy services. Equipment

the National Union of Women to teach and train other women in the country.

and materials.

To improve the production of honey through training programmes

Consultancy services. External and local training. Equipment and materials.

To increase the production of honey and other bee products.

Consultancy services. External and local training. Equipment and materials.

To increase

Consultancy services.

offered to extension specialists and beekeepers.



To promote beekeeping and honey

charge of the preparation of the National Apiculture programme with the objective of starting apicultural development at national level.

national apiculture pro-



hive management for pollination purposes and develop a queen rearing station.




production development as a primary and altemative activity compatible with other activities.




Consultancy services. External and local training. Equipment and materials.

pollination and to start honey production in the country through the introduction of beekeeping.



To increase the production of coco-

honey production through the introduction of modern beekeeping and to increase the pro-





through bee pollination.


Assistance to apiculture development TCPARA/4510

3 months


improve honey production through the establishment of queen rearing stations.

Consultancy services.




A Stop press item

in Newsletter 11, 1987 stated that Varroa had been identified in Saskatchewan, Canada. John Gruszka, IBRA Re-







Apiculturalist now writes: wish to clarify the situation in Saskatchewan. Varroa has not been found in the commercial beekeeping areas of Saskatchewan in a manner similar to the spread that occurted in the US. The Varroa mites found in Saskatchewan were in packages which had been brought to a remote area of northern Saskatchewan under Ministerial permit and operated under quarantine. These packages were infected with tracheal mites and were part of a twoyear study on the impact of tracheal mites on packaged and wintered colonies in Saskatchewan. These colonies were kept in isolation and under quarantine for the entire duration of the project at La Ronge, Saskatchewan which is 250 km north of the agricultural zone. The Varroa mites were found at the end of the second year of study and all of the colonies in La Ronge were destroyed |

BOOKSHELF Changes to information given in Newsletter 13: Breeding techniques and selection for breeding of the honeybee by F Ruttner.

The English translation of this publication is available from IBRA price 7.75 (excluding postage and packing)* The title of K I Kigatiira’s new book is Beekeeping for beginners and not Beekeeping in Kenya as stated in Newsletter 1.3.

Beekeeping of the Assassin Bees by D Espina Pérez Cartago, Costa Rica; Editorial Tecnolégica de Costa Rica (1985) 158 pp. Available in English or Spanish from IBRA price 5.00 (excluding postage and packing)* After an introductory chapter on tropical beekeeping, the author describes the characteristics and behaviour of Africanized bees, and discusses aggressiveness and its causes in honeybees (in general). Further chapters describe basic management techniques, swarming, migration and_ practical recommendations for beekeeping with the Africanized bee. There is a short list of literature consulted. Also available in Spanish La abeja africanizada.

Les Abeilles compiled and published by \nades-Foundation

Abidjan, lvory Coast; Inades-Foundation (1988) 52 pp. Available from the publishers: 08 BP 8, Abidjan 08, Ivory Coast. In French.

An introduction for would-be beekeepets in Ivory Coast. Descriptions are given of the honeybee colony, what it does and how it works, the types of hives found in lvory Coast, enemies of bees, and the uses of honey and beeswax. Plenty of black and white illustrations and line drawings. This is probably the first book on beekeeping written specifically for ory Coast, and is a welcome addition to the literature. 14

Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Apiculture in Tropical Climates, Cairo, November 1988 byIBRA Cardiff, UK; IBRA (1989) The Conference Proceedings are in their final stages of preparation and will be available shortly from IBRA. Those who were not Delegates at the Conference will be able to purchase copies of the Proceedings from IBRA. *


Please quote this Newsletter when you


Post and packing charges for orders to

UK and overseas addresses by surface mail only. Orders totalling: 1.00 upto 10.00 2 00 10.01 to 20.00 20.01 30.01 40.01

to 30.00 to 40.00 to 100.00

3.00 4.00 5.00

For orders over 100, post and packing charges will be quoted on receipt of order. Air mail charges are also quoted on request.

Cheques and bank draft (if paying in non-sterling, please add 5% to cover bank charges on exchange rates). Bankers: Midland Bank, 56 Queen Street, Cardiff UK. Account No: 01326740. Postgiro/National Girobank: Account No: 29 179 4408. Credit cards: Access/Mastercard/Eurocard/Visa — please quote name on card, full address, type of card, card number, and expiry date on card. All orders are subject to the availability of books at the prices quoted.

in October 1987.

A national survey for Varroa mites was conducted in Canada during the spring and summer of 1988 and no Varroa mites were found. To the best of our knowledge, the Varroa mite does not exist in Canada at present.

John Gruszka, Saskatchewan Agriculture, McIntosh Mall, PO Box 3003, Prince Albert, S6V 6G1 Canada. [Although by






tropical or news


in Canada was carried in Newsletter Number 11 because the spread of these Asian honeybee mites is of concern to beekeepers worldwide. Those who seek to import or export honeybees must exert great caution and ensure that they do not add to the further spread of honeybee pests and



Giant snails Here in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands we have the Giant African Snail (introduced by the Japanese in the 1930s) which is now indigenous to the island. On several occasions have found empty shells at the hive entrances and more rarely have found shells inside the hive itself embedded in propolis at the bottom of frames. Unfortunately have not documented this photographically but am convinced that these snails are attracted to the hives and occasionally, when they are small enough to enter, will actually go into the hive where they appear to be killed by the bees. Perhaps other areas in the tropics have something similar? would be very interested in further information. Samuel F McPhetres, Tuturam Development Co, PO Box 324 CHRB, Saipan, MP 96950, Mariana Islands. |





BRAZIL Beginners in Beekeeping. 17-18 June 1989, Jaguarao. Further details from: Oldino de Nale, Av Gal Mena Barreto 453, 96300 Jaguarao, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Apimondia Congress (XXXII International Beekeeping Congress) 22-28 October 1989, Rio de Janeiro. Further details from the National Committee of the XXXII Apimondia international Apicultural Congress at the following address: c/o Congrex do Brasil Ltda, Rua do Ouvidor, 60/705, 20040 Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil. Telex: 32891 CERT BR.

LOOKING AHEAD Please note if you ave planning a beekeeping event and you want details to appear in this column it is important that you send information to the Editor of the Newsletter well in advance of the planned date.



International Symposium on the Prevention of Varroa jacobsoni. 9-12 October 1989, Budapest. Further details from: Professor Sandor Holdas, Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition, H2101 Géddll6, Ganz Abrahém u2 PF 65, Budapest, Hungary. Telex: 28 10288.

11th International Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. 5-11 August 1990, Bangalore. Further details from: The Secretary, 11th Congress of IUSS!, Department of Entomology, University of Agricultural


Sciences, GKVK Campers, Bangalore 560 065, India.

NEPAL International Expert Meeting on Horticulture and Beekeeping in the Himalayan Mountains.

19-23 June 1989, Kathmandu (postponed from May 1989). Further details from: Dr S S Teaotia, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), PO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal. Telex: 2439 ICIMOD NP.

NETHERLANDS Sixth International Symposium on Pollination. 27-31 August 1990, Tilburg. Further details from: The Sixth International Symposium on_ Pollination, Ambrosiusweg 1, 5081 NV, Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands.

THAILAND The First Asia-Pacific Conference of Entomology (APCE). 8-13 November 1989, Chiangmai. Further details from: Mountri Rumakom, PO Box 1078, Bangkok 10903, Thailand. The first carousel, constructed from re-used material: an old trailer axle and hub of 5 cm water pipe. Brackets, bolts and welding were the greatest expense. with approximately 12 m

This is a new idea to help physically handicapped people to practise beekeeping, and has been developed by Wayne Kristensen in Denmark.

Bee hives are placed on a carousel structure with a regular distance between each hive. The handicapped person either working from a wheelchair or standing, can service each hive from one position by rotating the carousel. The first carousel (illustrated here) was constructed from reused material, an old trailer axle and hub, and water piping. A second, more sophisticated carousel has also been constructed and this model can be moved between crops as they come into flower.

Hives of bees kept on a movable carousel without doubt raise many questions! What about aggression, swarming, bee communication, pollination and honey? It is important that the size of the hives and their colour are the same. Management of the colonies is kept as simple as possible, with a minimum of open inspection. This is a recent innovation whose possibilities are still being determined by the inventors. Arevolutionary idea perhaps?

USA International Beekeeping Seminar IX. 17-28 July 1989, Ohio State University. Further details from Gail Miller, International Programs, Agricultural Technical Institute, The Ohio State University. 1328 Dover Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA. Cable: ATI-WOOSTER.





USDA AHB Workshop.

22-23 August 1989, Wooster. Due to equipment requirements, en-

rolment will be restricted. Further details from: Agricultural Technical Institute, Agricultural Technical Institute, The Ohio State University. 1328 Dover Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA. Cable: ATI-



undelivered, please return to: IBRA, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK. If











Information on beeswax Information on honey

No3 No 4

Information on top-bar hives Information on pollination

During the past 12 months we have sent these charts to many beekeeping projects and institutes in 78 different developing countries. These charts are still availab le to institutes and projects in developing countries involved with beekeeping teaching and extension and if you would like to r ‘ceive copies then write to Dr Nicola Bradbear at the address below. Please note that information charts will be dispatched b y surface post and may take some time to reach you. For those of you who have already ‘eceived charts, where have you displayed them? Are they in a prominent position for all to see? Or are they folded neatly and put iway tidily in your drawer? — if so, take them out today! *

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Items appearing in this Newsletter may be reproduced providing that appropriate full acknowledgement is given and copies of any articles are forwarded to the Editor.

also the translations of appreciate receiving any leaflets and charts that you have Newsletter, information prepared. We are regularly requested to supply information in languages other than English, and rely on the kind support of our readers around the world to help with this. We



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The post of Beekeeping Expert for North Yemen, featured in Newsletters 12 and 13 has now been filled. Please do not send any further applications to CHR. Congratulations to Marianne Lebas, the successful candidate, who will soon be starting her work in North Yemen.

This Newsletter is edited by Dr Nicola Bradbear with assistance from Helen Jackson, at the International Bee Research Association. Two editions of the Newsletter are published each year and are distributed free of charge to those in developing countries involved with beekeeping. The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide a forum for exchange of information; if you have a good idea then why not share it with others? If you are involved in beekeeping development then IBRA is always interested to hear of your work. Also if you have any enquiries about beekeeping and the information you need cannot be obtained locally then write to IBRA and we will try to help you. This Newsletter and the Information Service offered by IBRA to beekeepers in developing countries is funded by the UK Overseas Development Administration. If you know of another beekeeper who would benefit from access to this Newsletter or the information service provided by IBRA then his/her name can be added to our mailing list if they write to us. If your address has changed then please return the mailing label together with your new address.

Dr Nicola Bradbear, Advisory Officer for Tropical Apicutture, IBRA, 18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK

No longer involved with beekeeping development? Then please let us know so that we can delete your name from our mailing list. Our resources are precious and we cannot afford to waste them.