Bees for Development Journal Edition 25 - December 1992

Page 14

BFEK

NG

&

DEVELOPMENT

PRIORITIES ON R&D IN BEEKEEPING IN TROPICAL ASIA, UNIVERSITI PERTANIAN, MALAYSIA In

Malaysia the full potential tor honey production in rubber plantations ts as yet untapped

This Workshop for asian bee scientists was held in Malaysia in early August. The programme was well devised: bee scientists from Asia were encouraged to participate in a form of strategic planning for future research. They endeavoured to summarise the current problems ad discussed ways to address them.

Overall objectives e

e

To assist research and development in tropical Asia on beekeeping and pollination with indigenous bees for the rural poor. To balance and harmonise the development of beekeeping and pollination in tropical Asia with concerns for the environment and judicious use of appropriate indigenous species of honey bees

The Malaysian Bee Research & Development Team of the Universiti Pertanian Malaysia is led by Dr Makhdzir Mardan. Over the past 10 years the Team has developed into one of the most successful and achieving centres of bee research within Asia. The Team consists of people from various disciplines providing a range of expertise, and itself provides an excellent model for researchers in other countries to emulate. The meeting was made possible with financial support from IDRC (Canada).

Results Professor Yang aave China s view on priorties for bee research Other experts

*

joining these from Malaysia at the workshop from Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, were Thailand and Vietnam

e

e

Nicola Bradbear participated in this meeting with support from BESO, the British Executive Service Overseas.

e

Agreement on priority areas for Research and Development. Decisions on the allocation of available IDRC funding for regional Research and Development. Very good links for further communication between asian bee scientists: the network is named BEENET. Agreement to contribute information to a quarterly BEENET newsletter.

In

Malaysta coconut offers

a

nectar source for 10 months of the

year, and here provides the basis for profitable

Apis cerana

beekeeping

RUBBER THE HONEY SPINNER IN SRI LANKA Rubber is the most prolific honey-producing tree in Sri Lanka. It is the sap from the tender leaves that is collected by bees. Rubber-based honey is of a light-yellowish colour and has a very sweet flavour. It may take on a darker tinge if mixed with other nectar sources.

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,

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During a good season 10 -15 kg of honey could be harvested from a single Apis cerana colony whilst 25-40 colonies could be kept at a single site. The yield is dependent upon prevailing weather conditions and management. Trees 10 -15 years old and undergoing tapping produce the maximum sap while soil conditions may also affect sap output. The sap emanates from the tender leaves as they become the normal! size - sap emerges twice during the day (0830-1000 and 1630-1800) over a period of three to five weeks. Trees at different elevations shed their leaves and produce new ones at slightly different times and this could extend the sap season to nearly two months. It is important that there is bright sunshine during the day as dark and

FOURTEEN

cloudy days, even without rain reduce the sap output.

Night rain increases secretion but also increases sap water content. Heavy rains, as well as washing away the sap, also further reduce the flow due to fungus infection of the leaves.

Another benefit of rubber is that sap secretion always begins three weeks after the shedding of all Jeaves. This allows the beekeeper to manage the honey bee colony in reparation for the flow. prep C Dhammearatchi

Recent honey harvests Year Harvest period

Season (weeks)

Harvest per colony (kg)

1989

5

Feb-25 Mar

8

12.0

1990

3

Mar-25 Mar

3

79

26 Mar -18 Apr

3

6.0

1991