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Following the invasion of Belize by Africanized honeybees in 1987, honey production and export has significantly declined:

Year: 1987 - Production (kg): 226,155 - Export (kg) 225,500

Year: : 1988 - Production (kg) 226,025 - Export (kg) 225,500

Year: 1989 - Production (kg): 111,100 - Export (kg)110,990

Year: 1990 - Production (kg): 50,390 - Export (kg) 30,000

Year: 1991 - Production (kg) 51,000 - Export (kg) 44,000

(source: Belize Honey Producers’ Federation)

Africanized bees can be more productive in the tropics than Italian or European bees, if properly managed. The potential to revive the honey industry still exists in Belize. As in most Central and South American countries many beekeepers abandoned their apiaries.

Some however, particularly in Orange Walk, Corozal, Cayo and Toledo Districts, remain active and are willing to reinvest their resources, and learn how to manage Africanized bees.

The Honeybee Rehabilitation Programme, financed by USAID, has been initiated. The Programme provides funds for an Awareness Campaign, procurement of materials and equipment to be made available to beekeepers under loans, procurement of motorcycles for apiaries’ inspectors, the establishment of a queen rearing and mating centre, the employment of a statistics clerk, short-term training, queen-bee acquisition, and the reactivation of the National Beekeeping Council. Under the auspices of FAO, technical assistance, equipment and materials are being provided to co-operatives

Source: Ubaldo Miranda


Bees in coconut plantations

Coconut Cocos nucifera is perennial crop, providing plenty of nectar and pollen for bees throughout the year. We believe that honeybees play a major role in cross- pollination of this crop.

Our studies were conducted during 1992 at the Coconut Research Station, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. We studied the bees visiting inflorescences of 47 coconut genotypes comprising 28 varieties and 19 hybrids with the ages of palms ranging between eight and 30 years. Records foraging insects were taken every 30 minutes between 0700 hours and 1930 hours on bright days. The species of bees visiting most frequently were Apis cerana (the Asian hive bee}, Apis florea (the little bee) and Melipona iridipennis (the dammer bee).

In coconut varieties bees visited in the proportions of Melipona iridipennis 1.5 Apis florea 2.5 Apis cerana. In hybrid coconuts these proportions were 1 :1. 7: 2.5. Apis cerana therefore visited the plants 2.5 times more than Melipona iridipennis. The number of honeybees visiting the inflorescences of hybrid plants was 36% more than visited the varieties. This contributes to the increased button setting and nut yield in hybrid coconut plantations.

Source: S Sadakathulla


Bee Programme

The Bee Programme at the University of the Philippines, Los Bafios was established to promote and achieve more effective co- ordination of all bee projects and related research and extension activities The objectives include:

- Establishing demonstration apiary.

- Designing an apicultural management scheme which can be used in income- generating projects for small-scale farmers.

- Offering training courses on all aspects of beekeeping.

- Promoting beekeeping as productive business and important component of agriculture and forest ecosystems.

- Maintaining a quality control laboratory for honey.

- Acting as a service centre for commercial operators dealing with management, production and marketing of wax and honey, as well as a supply of high quality, mated queens and nucleus colonies.

191 participants including farmers, professional beekeepers, students, and trainers from NGOs have already attended training course. Disease diagnosis, advice on crop pollination and other aspects of management are also planned.

Source. Dr Cleo Cervancia


See the picture below. Renganaden Soobrayen, a UNV field worker from Mauritius, works with a project entitled “Strengthening of NGOs and Governmental Organisations for Community Level Activities” in Zimbabwe. Here he is showing trainees simple top-bar hive.

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) was established in 1970 as volunteer arm of the UN. Today there are 2500 UNV specialists and fieldworkers working in 119 countries world wide. Around 78% come from developing countries.

UNVs span 115 professions. Most have graduate/postgraduate qualifications and about 10 years’ work experience. The majority two-year assignments.