Bees for Development Journal Edition 67 - June 2003

Page 1


Bees for Development Journal

eav pias -

Apimondia 2003


treat for beekeepers

August, the 38th APIMONDIA Congress will take place in Slovenia. is the World Federation of Beekeepers' Associations and every second year organises the major bee event that is the APIMONDIA Congress. The Congress is attended by people working in all the different fields that involve bees: for professionals and amateurs, every facet of apiculture is covered. Of particular interest to readers of this Journal is the Standing Commission for Beekeeping for Rural Development. The Commission will organise three sessions during the Congress: Beekeeping against Poverty, Beekeeping Worldwide and Beekeeping in Eastern Europe. There will also be an area within the Congress where everyone working in this field will have the chance to meet. look forward to meeting you there! In




Slovenia is a beautiful country, one of the smallest in Europe, with only two million people. Slovenia remains well forested, with abundant natural resources for bees. This means that beekeeping is a popular and important part of Slovenian life, and indeed this is the Congress theme: Beekeeping, a way of life. addition to hundreds of talks and presentations on all aspects of bees and beekeeping, there is Apiexpo, a large trade exhibition with stands from many countries, social events, cultural displays and technical visits. It will indeed be a great treat for beekeepers. See for more details (also page 16).

COVER: In Slovenia it is a tradition to paint the front of bee hives with rural scenes or legends


Inside information


You do not have to be participating in the Congress to enter one of the Contests. There are classes for Technical Inventions, New Products, Books, CDs, Photographs and many more. See the Congress website for full details.

Simple ways to manage stingless bees Practical beekeeping


First decade complete

Look & Learn Ahead


Yes, it is ten years since Bees for Development started work! During this time we have responded to about 25,000 enquiries, produced 40 editions of this Journal, and sent out around 160,000 copies, each time to over 130 countries. We know the work done by Bees for Development is unique, and very important, and has helped thousands of people to start and expand their beekeeping activities. Thanks to all our subscribers, supporters and friends who have enabled this organisation to reach its second decade.

The Gorongosa hive Project news from ICIMOD





Inside Information Editor Nicola Bradbear PhD Co-ordinator Helen Jackson BSc Bees for Development Journal is published quarterly by Bees for Development and has readers in over 130 countries. Bees for Development assists people in poor countries to create livelihoods involving bees, in ways that are sustainable and environmentally beneficial.

Subscription One year's subscription (four editions) to BfD Journal costs UK20 (€30, US$30) including airmail delivery. If you are financially able to do so, you must pay the annual subscription. If you cannot pay your subscription, then write to us and we will endeavour to help you. Ways to pay are shown on page 15.

Generous discounts are available for multiple subscriptions of ten or more. You may also subscribe through our website, and choose to download BfD Journal if you wish. Readers in developing countries may pay their subscriptions by Beeswax Barter or Candle Currency: details on page 16.

Copyright If you are working in developing countries you are welcome to translate and reproduce any items we publish. Please acknowledge BfD Journal, provide our contact details in full, and send us a copy of what you publish.

Sponsorship We acknowledge the support of the V Kann Rasmussen Foundation for assistance to enable the production of this edition of the Journal. Bees for Development Trust (UK Charity Registration Number 1078803) raises funds to provide information to beekeepers in developing countries. We are grateful to all the individuals, beekeeping associations, groups and companies who have

provided sponsorship. For readers living in remote areas and with few resources, BfD Journal is often the only source of beekeeping news and information. Financial support to sponsor subscriptions is needed urgently: please assist if you can.

Bank details: Bees for Development Trust (Account 85299 Code 40-52-40) at CafCash Ltd, or send a donation via our website. UK residents can send donations as CAF cheques or Gift Aid or vio 'Give as you Earn’.

in this issue...



Notice Board


News around the World


How does a bee colony function?


Book Shelf


Bees for Development Post

Troy, Monmouth, NP25 4AB, UK

Phone Fax

+44 (0)16007 13648 +44 (0)16007 16167

E-mail Web

Bees for Development Journal


Simple ways to manage stingless bees Alejandro C Fajardo and Cleo R Cervancia, Philippines

Stingless bees, species of Trigona, are mass produced in the Philippines for pollination and honey production. The honey is used as a food supplement and as a medicine for colds, coughs and fevers. The price of Trigona honey is twice that of honey from honeybees. The usual way of harvesting honey from a natural nest of Trigona disturbs the colony because of the destruction of a large portion of the nest. If takes time and energy for the bees to mend the damage. This problem is minimised by the method described here.

Halved coconut shells are cleaned thoroughly - this prevents ant infestation. A one centimetre diameter hole is made at the top of the shell to serve as an entrance and exit point for the bees. Several smaller holes are drilled around the rim to accommodate supporting wires.

The shells are fastened with wires in tree trunks, branches or roof trusses. Leaves of a local fern (Drynaria sp) are used to cover the gaps between the shell and the tree. Trigona swarms easily transfer to the improvised nests. Sometimes the shells are primed with propolis to deter ants.

The bees keep their brood near the base of the nest and utilise the upper portion of the shell as food chambers. During the honey and pollen season the coconut shells are removed and replaced with larger ones, and more leaves are piled along the sides. The colonies expand their brood into the areas covered with leaves. As the season progresses more shells are added on the top of the shells, and are placed in front of the several nest entrances. The bees extend their stores into these new chambers.

During the swarming season (February-March) strong colonies are divided. Brood chambers containing queen cells are removed along with some adult bees and placed 1-2 metres away from the original colony. These so-called 'starter' colonies are then allowed to rear their own queen. Drifting of worker bees does occur, but the colonies recover. Two starter colonies can be made from a ten-shell colony. This method can be used also to harvest honey and pollen from colonies established in walls and elsewhere. The top-most shell is lifted at harvest time, leaving the brood intact. The technique allows for a sufficient honey and pollen harvest with minimal disturbance to the colony. This helps to conserve these bees that are vital for pollination of wild plants and crops. Colonies can be reared without transferring or relocating existing nests from the wild.

continued overleaf...

Coconut shells are used as nesting chambers for mass rearing of stingless bees, species of Trigona. Shells are attached with wires to roof trusses or tree branches.

The use of a hanging platform is a new innovation.



New coceonut shells are added to growing colonies. Fern leaves are used to cover gaps between the shells and the tree.

Swarms take up residence on traps like this one. More shells are added as the colony grows. This colony is four months old.

Testing for honey. A piece of coconut leaf midrib is used to probe the store chamber.

The honey shell is lifted to check the amount of honey inside. Honey shells are harvested only when full.

Brood exposed during harvest remains relatively intact. The bees immediately clean the nest as soon as the removed chamber is replaced. Dead brood is thrown out of the nest and any holes plugged with propolis.


Strong colonies are divided by transferring some of the brood and adult workers to another area, at least a metre from the parent colony. Starter colonies are allowed to rear their own queen. Brood chambers with queen cells are usually selected to be used as starters. This colony division is done during the swarming season.

Honey! A honey chamber filled to the brim with sealed honey pots.

An established starter colony with an extra coconut shell added for expansion.

The honey is pressed, strained and bottled for sale or storage.





The propolis coating of the shells is used as an antiseptic or sold to local

Trigona sp can be kept in apiaries alongside the Asian hive bee Apis cerana.


Pollen! Pot filled with

compacted pollen. Trigona pollen and honey have a sweet and sour faste. Photographs

Alejandro C Fajardo

Bees for Development Journal




value of HIVES


The second of Pam's articles exploring the value of top-bar hives and stressing the importance of standardisation of hive dimensions.

Human's first exploitation of bees was through honey hunting for the sweet, delicious treat of honey. The medicinal value of honey was probably also known to people. Cave paintings bear testimony to the way honey was collected and similar honey hunting methods are still used today. People found they could improve their chances of collecting honey by attracting swarms of bees into specially made receptacles (hives). This first step towards managing bees made finding them more certain and, more importantly, clearly established personal ownership of the resource. Early hives were simple in design and constructed of local materials grasses woven into baskets, hollow logs, bark or clay containers - and these styles of hives are still used widely today. This is a proven technology that has stood the test of time and should not be abandoned unless the alternatives are clearly understood.



Bees appear not to mind where they live as long as it is safe and dry. The type of hive used is more about the beekeeper's convenience than the bees’ preference and so the beekeeper should think hard about what benefits he/she will gain from changing to another hive type before making a move. However, there are some disadvantages to local hives. The biggest is that possibilities for beneficial management of the bees are limited. Styles of movable-comb hives do offer some advantages. One of the most widely mentioned is that harvesting honey is quicker and easier.


widt bar

3.2 cm

management processes possible with topbar hives. In addition, the beekeeper can collect and hive passing swarms of bees rather than waiting for them to make their own choice. Splitting an established colony becomes a possibility so that there is less dependence on swarms to fill hives. More astute beekeepers control their own swarms and collect other swarms as they pass! Finally, the genetic development of the colony can be enhanced by selecting and breeding queens for more desirable traits - such as better temper, less absconding or more productive stocks.

Dimensions for a single top-bar made from sawn wood '

Length of top-bar 48 cm cut to rest on top of the hive sides

.\ 44cm Cut to locate neatly within hive width of 44.5 cm

Shaped niche stops top-bar from sliding sideways

Top-bar WIDTH to make the BEES happy Top-bar LENGTH to make the BEEKEEPER happy

A skep (basket) hive containing a colony



Pam Gregory

of bees

Furthermore, the quality of the honey can be checked before removal to see if it is ready. Harvesting ripe honey is the biggest factor in ensuring honey is of high quality and is saleable for a good price or for export. Honey with water content greater than 21% is not acceptable generally and 18% is around the optimum for best quality honey. High water content means honey will ferment and become useless for table consumption, although this is not an important consideration if the honey is to be used for making beer or mead.

Honey yield The hive, unless it is far too small, is rarely the determinant of honey yield. Nectar yield is generally dependant on physical factors such as the weather or the availability of nectar yielding flowers. However, the size of the colony, and the amount of swarming or absconding are critical factors in honey production and can, to some extent, be controlled by the

The key to good beekeeping management is standardisation of the top-bar size. In BfDJ 66 explained about the width of the top-bar being correctly sized to accommodate the bee space. This time we are looking at the length of the top-bar. Confusingly, because the top-bars fit from edge to edge across the hive, this relates to the width of a hive and is often quoted as 44 cm internal measurement for African top-bar hives. |

To carry out management techniques the beekeeper needs to be able to move combs from one colony to another, so it is important that all hive widths are the same. It is most frustrating to try and move combs between hives when they just do not quite fit. Careful attention to

the length of the top-bars (and consequently the width of the hive) is essential if they are to be useful for good

management. continued...

Bees for Development Journal

Web forum Working with top-bar hives forums.shtml Previous articles A frame for the top-bar hive BfD Journal 35 For the beekeeper's own convenience it does not matter what width is chosen as long as the hive is big enough and all the hives belonging to the beekeeper are the same. He/she will still gain the benefits of being able to exchange combs between hives quite freely. However, when a beekeeper comes to sell hives these will attract a lower price if they are of nonstandard sizes because they will not fit another person's hives. This is why.a national standard should be chosen and adhered to.

Hive length The length of the hive is not particularly critical. What it should relate to is the width of the top-bar which in turn is a function of the bee space. Thus, if the top-bar width is 32 mm the hive length should be 32 mm multiplied by the

number of combs desired. For example, if 25 combs are specified then the correct hive length should be (32 x 25) mm = 800 mm (80 cm} have noticed, for instance, in some top-bar hive plans that the length specified is 90 cm and the number of combs is 28. This does not quite fit as (32 x 28) mm = 896 mm (89.6 cm) which leaves a 4 mm gap for ants or other undesirables to get in. It should be noted that hive measurements are best expressed as internal measurements especially when using local materials for the hive. This allows for different thicknesses of material to be accommodated without having to change the specifications. |

Short hives can be very useful as swarm catcher hives.

Happy Beekeeping!

LOOK AHEAD COSTA RICA APIMONDIA Symposium on Tropical Beekeeping: research and development for pollination and conservation 22-25 February 2004 Further details: | ETHIOPIA Ath Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Beekeepers’ Association 9-12 June 2003, Addis Ababa Further details:

GERMANY APIMONDIA Symposium: diagnosis of

bee diseases eet 7-8 October 2004. Feaibsity Further dete“!s:”


APIMONDIA Symposium: Prevention of residues in honey

28-29 May 2004, Celle Further details:

INDIA International Workshop: Sustainable Beekeeping Development and All India Honey Festival (Apiexhi 2003) 6-10 October 2003, Bangalore Further details:

BFD Journal 38 Top-bar hives in the USA BfD Journal 58 Videos

Beekeeping in development. Price 28.80 €43.20 (Code VID16) How to manage the African bee in top-bar hives. Price 22.90 €34.40 Code VIDO5) How to order? See page 15

LEARN AHEAD ITALY European Conference of Apidology



19-23 September 2004, Udine Further details:

PHILIPPINES 7th Asian Apicultural Association

Conference 23-27 February 2004, Los Bafios Further details: honey/aaa/aaa-eng.him RUSSIA Intermiod 2003: 4th Exhibition and Conference on Beekeeping

3-7th September 2003, Moscow Further details:

SLOVENIA APIMONDIA International Apicultural Congress 24-29 August 2003, Ljubljana Further details: XXXVII|

UNITED KINGDOM National Honey Show 13-15 November 2003, London Further details see page 15 Visit the Bees for Development stand!

you want notice of your conference, workshop or meeting to be included here send details to Bees for Development, Troy, Monmouth, NP25 4AB, UK E-mail Hf

Better beekeeping in top-bar hives BfD Journal 66 Don't fiddle with the top-bar hive BED Journal 36 Facts about "a frame for the top-bar hive" BfD Journal 39 Queen rearing in top-bar hives BID Journal 33 Successful harvesting from top-bar hives BfD Journal 49 Sugar feeding using a top-bar feeder

Beekeeping short courses July, September 2003, Molo Further details:

NETHERLANDS Educational Exhibition on Beekeeping for Rural Development 1-17 August 2003, Amsterdam Further details: and see Notice Board (page 11) PHILIPPINES Rural Development and Management 16 June - 11 July 2003, Cavite Further details:

UK Forest and Certification Summer Training Programme 7-11 July 2003, Oxford Further details:

UNITED KINGDOM/TANZANIA Beekeeping in Rural Development Training Course Further details from Bees for Development

USA EAS 2003 Short Course and Conference 4-7 August 2003, Brunswick ME Further details:


Bees for Development Journal



The Gorongosa RIVE I was sitting on a tree stump talking to about 40 farmers in the Gorongosa District of Mozambique with my beekeeping materials displayed on a table. Our class was held in a mango grove alive with the sound of foraging honeybees. The project was aimed at introducing the use of top-bar hives instead of the local hollow log or bark hive. The class was going well and the students were attentive. Then someone asked, "What does a drone look like 7" That question shifted my whole focus. Farmers in Mozambique have had hives for more than a thousand years. But they do not have the equipment that enables them to observe their bees, much less manage them.

1999 Food for the Hungry International (FHI) began a project to enhance beekeeping in Gorongosa. The rationale for this effort was two fold. Farmers need a means of earning more money - they are no longer able to do so effectively by farming. The second impetus for change was the ecological impact of the construction of local hives: a whole tree may be lost in obtaining the bark needed for one hive. A small amount of low quality honey is the usual yield, and harvesting often kills a colony.

went to Mozambique as an ACDIVVOCA volunteer. As taught my first set of classes the main problem became well defined. Enthusiasm for top-bar hive beekeeping ran high. But the bottom line was articulated by the chief of Muera village, "if these hives cost more than US$5 it is impossible for us to use them." This was a shock to us would-be developers. The closest we had been able to come was a prototype costing |



srnison us

For hive production we devised a method of crafting hives out of lumber yard offcuts. There are authorised lumber mills all over Mozambique. These mills are licensed by the government to harvest and process a specific number of trees and this system prevents the forests from being destroyed. At each of these sites small mountains of off-cuts are sliced from the outside of each log. These first cuts render a round log square so that boards can be produced. The scraps are of some value and are used mostly to fire commercial bread baking ovens. Neteeed


Local tailor crafting bee veils

During the remainder of the classes that summer we were able to build some hives out of locally available materials. In Domba the men became so enthusiastic about using top-bar hives that they offered to supply the wood if we came back the next day with saw, hammer and nails. We agreed. Boards were cut out of whole tree trunks using an adz and a hive was built. The cost in dollars was acceptable, but if this method was adopted on a large scale the cost to the forest would be disastrous. Our best efforts that season using locally available wood from acceptable sources brought the price down only to US$20 a hive. This did not even begin to address the need for smokers, veils, and gloves. returned to Mozambique in year 2000 equipped with veil material, a battery powered sewing machine and a small table saw. The results were mixed but we came closer to the goal. The sewing machine broke down but we successfully commissioned a local tailor to sew veils. About 100 were produced that were made of nylon netting that was not locally available, and the veils offered barely adequate protection. Later discovered that the same design could be used with the addition of a round of nylon window screen in the middle. This is locally available and made a veil that effectively kept the bees out of one's face. |

Veil with nylon screen

The alternative offered was to transfer colonies of bees out of their traditional hives into top-bar hives. These hives can be managed for much greater benefit for both the bees and the farmers. In Mozambique the sale of products from one hive can be as high as the annual per capita income. The challenge was to discover a way of producing enough hives and protective clothing at a cost that made beekeeping sustainable. |

Off-cuts at a sawmill Mozambique



They could be purchased cheaply enough for us to manufacture top-bar hives for US$2.75 each. Some of the local carpenters worked together to produce a number of these hives. The one element that took a year to work out could not conceive a lid was the lid. that did not depend on high cost materials like metal or plastic. If either of these were used it quadrupled the hive cost. Later it came to me that the same material from which we were making the hives, could be made into a useable, water-shedding lid. |


Snapping chalk lines on sawmill off-cuts

Bees for Development Journal

Three slabs of wood could be fastened together. With two on the bottom and one over the centre joint, a watershedding lid could be built with only a small additional cost. It was necessary to import the saw - this cost US$100 and was essential for the production of consistent top-bars. Equivalent saws that were available locally were too expensive. believe that the hives we built in Gorongosa could be built in other places where beekeeping is a valuable development option but where resources are minimal. My hope is that the pictures will clarify how to construct them. |

If further information is needed you may contact Marty Hardison by e-mail at

FHI translator, Joao Madera putting in the queen to complete colony transfer




Marty Hardison

Suggested hive dimensions

Completed hive with lid showing underside

Completed hive with lid in place


Bees for Development Journal



INFORMATION FROM ICIMOD Conserving wild bees and promoting

Apis cerana beekeeping Faroog Ahmad, Surendra Joshi and Min Gurung Here we bring you another article with news about the work of the Austrian Government funded beekeeping project at


in Kathmandu,




we described our approaches to


gathering indigenous knowledge on honeybees and in this issue bring news about the activities of BEENPRO, a committed and active local NGO.

ICIMOD's Honeybee Project is focusing on many different aspects related to conservation and promotion of the four indigenous species of honeybees in the Himalayas. During a preliminary survey of Apis Iaboriosa nesting sites in Nepal, project staff encountered a group of committed activists in the Kaski District (see the end of this article) who were concerned about the conservation of wild bees. The motor in this group, Major Ram Prasad Gurung had close links with the (mostly Gurung) honey hunter communities. The ICIMOD Project supported the group in their efforts to establish a formally registered NGO for advocacy and action related to bee conservation. 'BEENPRO', or more properly ‘Annapurna Beekeeping and Environment Promotion’ was registered in May 2000, and became the ICIMOD Project's major implementing partner in Kaski District. Its members are drawn from honey hunter communities and other socially concerned people in the area and it has become highly active and successful in promoting an approach combining conservation with sustainable

exploitation. Together, BEENPRO and ICIMOD Project staff made a detailed survey of the habitats and nesting areas of Apis laboriosa, and found that the bee was threatened by a number of factors

including irresponsible honey hunting, changes in agricultural and forest landscapes, cliff ownership changes, and ignorance at the policy and grass roots levels. At the same time Apis cerana was found being kept in local log and wall hives in different villages in the area, suggesting that there was a great scope for developing beekeeping with this species. Together, BEENPRO and ICIMOD staff developed a strategy to address both issues in unison.

An ‘Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action' approach was used to facilitate capacity building of BEENPRO members, beekeepers, honey hunters, and members of other interested NGOs. Stakeholders were trained in various aspects of conservation-based apiculture such as pollination, hive carpentry, queen rearing, colony management, selection processes, and marketing of bee products, all of which are now supporting the development of beekeeping with Apis cerana.


BEENPRO members harvesting honey from a log hive, home to a nest of the Asian hive bee Apis cerana Honey hunters with a high local standing helped the ICIMOD Project to carry out an intensive field study to understand the dynamics of Apis laboriosa populations and its socio-cultural and livelihood roles in the local community. Using this information, a massive campaign was launched for conserving Apis laboriosa populations in the area. Project staff also learnt much about the dynamics and processes of honey hunting, and were exposed to a hidden wealth of indigenous knowledge about wild bees and valuable information about their interactions with people and the environment.

BEENPRO has become a highly successful, dynamic, and lively organisation supported by beekeepers, honey hunters, and social activists alike, many of whom are actively involved in its development endeavours. With the help of the Project, it has become a recognised and concerned stakeholder for the conservation of Apis laboriosa nesting sites, providing members with the leverage to regulate honey hunting and 10

coordinate honey hunters in the area. Other successful activities include the establishment of a small bee-based micro-enterprise in the central area of Pokhara town where bees, bee products, and beekeeping equipment are traded; and the establishment of an Apis cerana apiary, which now serves as a training and multiplication centre for the area (see cover of BFDJ 66). In Kaski, beekeepers trained by the ICIMOD Project and BEENPRO have adopted Apis cerana queen rearing and management processes as an integral part of their beekeeping system, and Apis cerana beekeeping is expanding on a modern footing. The secret of BEENPRO's success lies in the members, who are firmly rooted in the local area and committed to protecting their local environment and way of life, while helping local people to improve their livelihoods. The ICIMOD Project has been able to provide the links to a broader context and the information and facilities for training and capacity building of members. BEENPRO, as the Project's implementing partner, has been effective in reaching out to the local community and disseminating the ICIMOD Project's findings.

Kaski District is located in western Nepal. The central town is Pokhara, the popular tourist destination with well-established and developed tourist tracks particularly around the high Himalayan mountains of Machapuchare and Annapurnas and il. Maintenance and sustainability of the remaining pristine environment is vital for the social and economic stability of the area. The prevalence of the two indigenous honeybee species, the Himalayan cliff bee Apis laboriosa and the Asian hive bee Apis cerana, can be seen as an indicator of environmental quality. They are important for maintaining floral biodiversity, and provide indicators of the potential for sustainable tourism, and hence economic stability. |


Bees for Development Journal

Notice Board PROJECT PROFILES REQUESTED Show the visitors to Amsterdam Zoo the importance of beekeeping for the lives and well-being of rural communities! Send us your project profile and history on a postcard, photograph or drawing. The collection will be shown during the Educational Exhibition on Beekeeping for Rural Development. Make sure we have your information by 20 July 2003. Postal address: E Michaelis, Vinkenstraat 125 |, 1013 Amsterdam, Netherlands (see also Look Ahead, page 7)

HONEY FOR SALE We are writing from Guinea Bissau. We have a large quantity of honey for sale and are interested to hear from buyers. Contact: Aji Pierre Dasilva


TAKE NOTE Bees for Development features in the May 2003 edition of The Ecologist: the influential environmental magazine. See: Volume 33, N°4: 54-55

PROJECT SUPPORT FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, supports beekeeping projects in developing countries. For projects with budgets under

US$10,000, beekeepers’ groups and associations may apply for small project funding from the TeleFood Special Fund. Request documents should include a brief description of the project's objectives, the proposed food production or incomegenerating activities, the work plan, the number of participants, a detailed list of inputs with cost estimates and the reporting arrangements. Submit your request to the office of FAO or UNDP in your country. Applications for projects with budgets over US$10,000 must be submitted through a Government Ministry. See BEEKEEPERS' SAFARIS Friendly holidays run in co-operation with overseas partners as part of Bees for Development's work to raise awareness of beekeeping in development. Safari to Tobago and Trinidad 8-17 March 2004 Safari to South India dates to be confirmed Details from Bees for Development and on our website

REGISTER YOUR PROTEST Less than 3% of Kenya's land is forested and the Government has authorised the destruction of more than 170,000 acres of remaining forest. Even in our long history of forest destruction, the massive scale of these excisions is unprecedented. And they will be disastrous for all of us. Our country desperately needs to keep the forests we have left. Without them, droughts will get worse, power shortages will increase, food production will suffer, and tourism will decline. If we do not protect our remaining forests, Kenya will become progressively thirstier, hungrier, uglier and poorer. Join the fight to save our forests. Kenya Forests Working Group PO Box 20110, Nairobi

MEETING INFORMATION Bees for Development helps projects in developing countries with copies of BfD Journal and other information for use at training courses and workshops. We must receive notice and number of participants at least three months ahead of the meeting date. Organisations with some resources available can order o Workshop Box for per 25 participants, including surface mail delivery. See ways to pay on page 15.

BEE BOOKS NEW AND OLD 10 Quay Road, Charlestown, PL25 3NX, UK, for your new and second-hand books. Telephone +44 (0)172 676 844 or www.

ANTENNAE UP You are invited to send articles and information for possible inclusion in a future edition of BD Journal.

Digital images: (by e-mail or on PC format CD). We recommend that you initially send low resolution copies for approval. Images for publication must be a minimum of 300 dpi/ppi resolution .TIF or .JPEG files.

Please do not scan multiple images and send them as one file. We require separate files for each image. Each file must be clearly identified in relation to any caption required. Photographs: Please provide prints and not transparencies.

Swreérity*. Full range beekeeping equipment suppliers jars, packaging, filling machines


GLOBAL THOUGHTS The First International START Young Scientists’ Global Change Conference takes place in November 2003. Young scientists (under 35) are invited to submit presentations on the physical, biological and human aspects of global change. Read: YS_Conference.html

world-wide export

ADVERTISING WITH BFD BfD Journal offers a great chance to reach readers in over 100 countries. Quarter page, two-colour advertisements cost 65; full page 200. Other sizes available: our rate card is available from the address below. Notice Board items 0.50 word. Enclosures accepted.


Banners on BfD's website Advertise to thousands via our website. See for details. (Charges are subject to VAT in EC countries)

Contact Bees for Development Troy, Monmouth, NP25 4AB, UK E-mail


Swienty A/S, Hortoftvej 16, 6400 Sonderborg, Denmark Phone +45 74 48 69 69 Fax +45 74 48 80 01 e-mail:


Bees for Development Journal





Honey in demand Honey production in Ghana is low compared with the demand from local and external markets. During the main honey harvesting season (February to April), all varieties of honey are available on the market. A large percentage of honey comes from honey hunters who exploit honeybee colonies in the forests.

The Beekeeping for Poverty Relief Programme (BPRP} of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has been awarded one of five top Platinum Awards for or innovative work in the fields of poverty reduction and community development by the Impumelelo Innovations Awards Trust. The Trust is dedicated to the recognition and promotion of public sector projects and public-private partnerships that reduce poverty in South Africa. The Ford Foundation and SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency) fund the awards.

Unfortunately, the quality of this honey may be questionable when poor handling practices and bad processing methods render the product unwholesome. However many beekeepers harvest honey and beeswax of high quality. The honey could be almost certainly certified as organic since the forage sources for the bees are the natural tropical forests found all over the country. Many Ghanaian farmers are smallscale and use little or no agrochemicals in their operations. Nectar sources from cultivated plants are therefore’ uncontaminated and pollution-free. Beekeepers do not use any form of chemical since the local honeybee Apis mellifera adansonii is free from disease. Pests of bees, which are numerous in the environment, are mainly outside the nest and are controlled by sound apiary management practices.

This background gives Ghanaian beekeepers an advantage in the supply of high quality bee products. It is no wonder that many beekeepers have received enquiries from bee product companies in Europe (especially the UK) for the purchase of Ghanaian honey and beeswax. The companies have had to turn elsewhere for supplies as a result of the ban on Chinese honey in the EU (see BfDJ 63). There is therefore a need for beekeepers in Ghana and other countries of West Africa to expand production to meet the increased demand.

Kwame Aidoo, BfDJ's Correspondent in Ghana

Beekeeping success Viable beekeeping is now well established, five years after its implementation in the rainforests of the Western Region of Ghana. Samartex Co Ltd, a major producer of timber and plywood, is active in the promotion of income-generation for farmers

through non-timber forest products (NTFP}. Besides afforestation with precious timber species, apiculture has become a successful activity for gaining considerable sideincome. It might also release, at least on a moderate scale, the increasing pressure on the remaining rainforests, which are under threat from slash-and-burn practices to clear land for cultivation. The interest of farmers to participate in the programme is increasing and Samartex will continue providing hives and equipment on a loan basis to cover the total concessionary area of 700,000 ha. Customers at the local markets are aware of the superior quality of the honey, compared to that from honey-hunting which is often a mixture of bee brood, pollen, wax, charcoal and is a bitter, dark degenerated stuff that was once honey.... Due to extreme annual rainfall of more than 4000 mm, honey yields are modest at 8 kg per colony per year. However farmers profit also from secured pollination of cocoa and other cash crops. In addition, the key role of honeybees as the pollinators of wild plants means that apiculture is important for the enhancement of biodiversity. Ulrich Brdker, Apicon, Germany

With financial support from the Government Poverty Relief Funds the BPRP introduced beekeeping to over 500 people in its first year. Our goal is not merely to expand current projects, but also to promote beekeeping in communities in all provinces in the country. It is our conviction that once developmental beekeeping becomes established in the rural communities, it will be difficult to cope with the flood of requests for this programme. Elize Lundall-Magnuson, ARC, Pretoria



varding vations in rnment &

ddress key

opmental of national yneern In its first year, BPRP

introduced more than 500 people to beekeeping


Well done BPRP!




c-private rships that ‘e poverty


Starting in April 2001 the BPRP is a joint venture between the ARC-PPRI (Plant Protection Research Institute) and the Departments of Science and Technology, and Social Development and Agriculture. The programme has achieved considerable success due largely to the interest and commitment demonstrated by those involved, including government officials and private organisations. The programme assists poor communities to be entrepreneurial within the honeybee industry.

Bees for Development Journal



Thank you very much for sending BfD Journal on a sponsorship basis. For the last couple of years we have been experiencing problems with bush fires, theft, absconding of colonies due to drought and possibly infections in colonies. Squirrels, mice and bumblebees have also been a nuisance. We started off with about 300 hives, but now have only 60 on our farm and a further 65 elsewhere. These are log hives. We decided to use local hives because we wanted something natural, and we are considering harvesting propolis. In addition to the Apis species we also keep 20 colonies of stingless bees. Although these bees are sensitive and honey production is not great, their honey is very marketable because of its medicinal value. We sell all our honey locally.

Compared with a few years ago, women in Zanzibar are playing an active role in supporting family livelihoods. Many participate in seaweed farming, but because of a limited market it is becoming increasingly important to provide women with alternative income-generating activities. One such activity is beekeeping. Traditionally dominated by men who use fire to burn the colonies in honey harvesting, this has been the source of forest fires that have left several of Zanzibar's communities jobless. The planned project will train women to practise

techniques that will protect the bees and improve honey production. In the project area the programme will work jointly with conservation of the mangrove ecosystems. Mangrove trees can supply sufficient pollen and nectar for bees. Further, the degraded mangrove areas will be replanted as a part of the project, providing in the future large areas to hang hives. Source: Mangrove Action Project Late Friday News (103rd ed)

Maria and Jasper Ijumba, Arusha

What makes a bee colony function? Figil Holm, Denmark Each human can be thirsty and hungry, feel warm or cold, and defend itself against diseases or enemies. So can a bee colony. The difference is that a human being is one living organism, connected by the nervous system and the bloodstream, whilst a bee colony consists of separate animals. However, in a way the colony behaves like a singular living organism, in that the individual bees work together like the cells of human. a

If a bee

colony is hungry the forager bees must fly out to get nectar. When a forager returns with nectar she will look for a storer bee which will take up her nectar and process it. After that, the forager will dance, thus telling other foragers how far and in which direction the nectar can be found, the type of flowers and the quality of the nectar source. If honey supplies are low in the nest (or hive) the storer bees will take up the nectar very fast from the foragers. If the storer bees are fully employed, for example looking for empty cells to store honey, it will take time for the forager bees to find a storer bee. If this time exceeds one minute the forager bee will not dance, and will not immediately leave the hive again. In this way the flow of nectar into the hive is regulated, according to the storage space available.

Another thing could happen. If incoming foragers cannot deliver their nectar fast enough, they rush through the hive in a special manner, shaking other bees and letting them know that more storers are required. Temperature regulation If a nest (or hive) gets too hot inside, it needs cooling. Otherwise the wax combs will become soft and sink, killing the larvae. Some worker bees will work as

ventilators; using their wings as fans to augment the air flow inside the hive. If that is not enough, water collecting bees fly out and return with water which is spread over the cells: the evaporation of the water cools the nest. At the same time, forager bees that have collected nectar containing a lot of sugar will find it difficult to deliver to the storer bees which instead prefer diluted nectar or plain water. This behaviour stops the nectar flow and augments the water intake of the hive. When the hive has been cooled sufficiently the forager bees carrying water can hardly unload their water, while the nectar carriers are eagerly received, In this way the temperature of the hive is regulated. The area of the nest with eggs and larvae (the brood nest) must be kept at 35°C. If the temperature falls below this, worker bees gather and heat the area with muscle movements. Pheromones There are many other regulatory mechanisms inside the hive. Pheromones are chemical substances transferred from one bee to another. Pheromones from the queen are taken up by the court of worker bees around her. These workers transfer the pheromones to other workers. The queen pheromones give the bees the message: the queen is alive and in good health. If a queen is taken away the workers feel it within an hour or two in a large colony and in a small nucleus it only takes minutes. You can hear the recognition in the sound of the bees. If a new queen is not introduced the workers will build queen cells around young larvae and rear them to become queens. Pheromones are also sent out by a threatening bee to make other bees alert, and from a sting placed in our skin to call other bees to attack. 13

The guard bees that give their lives to chase enemies away can be compared to our leucocytes (white blood corpuscles) which attack bacteria invading our body. Many leucocytes die in that process. We cannot understand bees if we only look at single bees. We need to look at the complete colony as a functional entity to understand the life of the bee.



A storer bee stretches out her mouth parts to touch the mouth of a forager bee, inviting her fo unload her nectar

KEY ay

A guard bee under threat opens her sting chamber fo release alarm pheromone to alert other bees


Bees for Development Journal



Book Shelf

Manual de apicultura para Cabo Verde

Beekeeping in the tropics

Ole Hertz 2002 80 pages

Francis G Smith 2003 265 pages 14.95



Code $505 This book was first published in 1960. At this time Francis Smith was working as Head of the Beekeeping Division, Forest Department, Tanganyika (present day Tanzania). This book was worthy of republication by Northern Bee Books, because during the intervening years nobody has written a more detailed and practical guide for East African

beekeeping. The first part of the book covers basic principles: the biology, behaviour, diseases and enemies of bees, bee forage, beekeeping methods and economics. Written long before beekeepers had heard of Varroa, and with species names of bees, diseases, and forage plants all changing in the past 40 years, this part of the book reveals its age. Part Il, apiary equipment, discusses

apiary choice, simple hives and frame hives - top-bar hives had not yet put in an appearance in East Africa. Part Ill, bee management, advises



Peta, J L Sharp & M Wysoki (editors) 2002 448 pages 85 (€149) Code P190 Tropical Fruit Pests and Pollinators


This text is intended for researchers working in the fields of horticulture, entomology or pest management. World experts have contributed to reviews


| |

keeping cylindrical hives in bee houses, and gives plenty of practical information about working with frame hives. Francis Smith advocates the use of Modified Dadant frame hives. No doubt they worked well for him, supported by a well resourced Government Department. Yet we know that today, this type of frame hive beekeeping has not been adopted in Tanzania. Part IV discusses the crop: harvesting, and processing of honey and beeswax, and notes on developing the beekeeping


An interesting read with a wealth of ever-valuable beekeeping advice, the book also offers an insight into how much, and how little, life has changed for the rural African beekeeper.

Tropical fruit pests and pollinators: biology economic importance, natural enemies and control



Code H300

of the pests and pollinators of avocado, banana, guava, papaya, pineapple and several other major tropical fruits. All of these crops are now widely grown outside their original distribution area, and therefore face a range of predators of different arthropod fauna, as well as exotic predators that have also migrated out of their original area. Interesting to read that in some passion fruit growing areas, honeybees Apis mellifera are considered pests since they rob pollen from carpenter bees and thereby reduce pollination and fruit set. Also that the Brazilian stingless bee species Trigona spinipes attack the leaves, stems, trunk, developing buds and fruits of several plant species. We are not accustomed to reading about bees under the heading of Pests! 14

This is an 80-page text prepared in Portuguese language for beekeepers in Cape Verde, the islands off the coast of West Africa. The text covers everything that a beginner beekeeper needs to know: the importance of bees for farming and how to protect them well; the different types of bees, and the flowers they feed on; details about the honeybee colony and how bees live and function; how to keep bees in top-bar hives, frame hives and other types; managing bees and making and using smokers; harvesting and processing honey and wax; and dealing with those few bee pests and predators found in Cape Verde.

The book is full of excellent black and white line drawings and photographs, and will be a great help for Portuguesereading beekeepers wherever a clear guide to low-cost beekeeping methods is required.


you would like your work featured here, send

a copy to the Editor for possible review.

Bees for Development

Phone Fax

+44 (0)16007 13648 +44 (0)16007 16167


Troy, Monmouth,

NP25 4AB, UK E-mail


Bees for Development Journal

Pollinating bees

How to order


G Kevan and





Orders are dispatched when we receive payment. We can provide a pro forma invoice. Delivery — There are no delivery charges for orders to UK addresses — Outside the UK we dispatch orders by airmail service for speed and safety. Please add: 10% for delivery to Europe 25% for delivery outside Europe — For orders over 500 please request a quote for post and insurance costs — Optional insurance cover: orders up to 100 add 10; up to 500 add 15. We are not responsible for loss or damage in transit unless insurance is paid with order. Ways to Pay 1. Credit card Access, Eurocard, JCB, Mastercard or Visa. We need your card number, card expiry date and name on card 2. Cheque or bank draft 3. Bank transfer Account number 10167967 Sort code 20-00-85 at Barclays Bank plc, PO Box 29, Monmouth, NP25 3YG, UK Payment methods 2-3: Payments in currencies other than UKE incur bank transfer and/or exchange charges: please add the equivalent of UK9 to your order to cover these. Payments to Bees for Development Prices in €s are approximate estimates. As we go to press UKE] = €1.396, UKE1 = US$1.538 —

2002 313 pages (currently awaiting reprinting, further details will be given in Bookshelf when available)

An important book arising from the ' Workshop on the conservation and sustainable use of pollination in agriculture, with emphasis on bees that took place in Brazil in 1998. Included:





Session 1 The main issues in pollinator and bee conservation (five chapters). Session 2 The state of the art in bee conservation for agriculture and nature (12 chapters). This session includes papers concerning the situation in countries of Africa, North and South America, Europe and Russia. Session 3 Methodology for assessing pollinator diversity and abundance (four chapters) giving examples from California (USA) and Costa Rica, and using the Automated Bee Identification System computer technology to identify bee species. Session 4 Neotropical crop pollination. Research on the pollination of Brazil nut, cashew, coffee and Prosopis.

Some other abstracts are presented, as well as excerpts from the text of the SGo Paulo Declaration on Pollinators that originally led to the Workshop.

A very useful and up-to-date introduction

Use the form printed in our 'Books to Buy' catalogue, order on our website, or just send by e-mail, fax or post a note of what you want.

to pollination

research underway world-wide.

THE NATIONAL HONEY SHOW 13-15 November 2003 Kensington Town Hall, London, UK Sparkling lecture convention Amazing trade stands Beekeeping organisations Competitive classes Friends to meet and make and of course, the largest honey show in the world



Schedules available from The Honorary General Secretary Revsc


Folkestone, Kent CT20 2NR, UK

E-mail Tel/Fax +44 (0) 1303 254 579






O %_e

y sO

Registered charity 233656





CONGRESS 24-29 August 2003, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The 38th Congress will be held in the very heart of Europe in Slovenia, a country with a long tradition of beekeeping Congress Secretariat Mr Gorazd Cad Cankarjev Dom Presernova 10


SI 1000 Ljubljana

Slovenia E-mail /t has always been a goal of APIMONDIA to create friendships between everyone in the beekeeping


Beekeepers in developing countries (only!) may pay their subscription in pure beeswax or with pure beeswax candles. Since candles are of higher value than beeswax, only 2 kg of candles are needed to buy one subscription, and the lower weight of candles will also give savings in postage costs. The rates are: 5 kg beeswax or 2 kg candles to pay one subscription 25 kg beeswax or 10 kg candles to pay ten subscriptions to one address These are the conditions for paying in beeswax or candles: 1. Beeswax must be reasonably clean and of good quality. It must be presented in solid form and not as scraps of wax or pieces of comb. 2. Candles must be of saleable quality. 3. Beeswax from any species of Apis will be accepted as long as the name of the species from which it is collected is stated. 4. Inside the parcel state your name and address, the weight and origin of the beeswax, and the number of subscriptions you are paying. On the outside of the parcel state 'BEESWAX RAW (OR CANDLES) FOR BEES FOR DEVELOPMENT! and the weight in kilograms. 5. Any parcel containing comb, very dirty wax or otherwise unusable wax will be destroyed on arrival at Bees for Development. It will not be returned and will not be accepted for barter. 6. Arrangements for costs of carriage of beeswax or candles are the responsibility of the sender and Bees for Development will not be responsible for any postage or other costs whatsoever.


7h Asian Apicultural Association Conference /{AAAy;


23-27 February 2004 Los Bafios, Philippines

You are invited to submit papers and posters on the following topics — Apiculture extension — Bees and environment ~ Bee biology —

Forum discussions including: top-bar hives, honey marketing and legislation, beekeeping projects, contacts and questions, organic certification and Bees for Development

Safaris >

Subscribe to BFD Journal


Browse through 200 items available in the Store


Support Bees for Development Trust


Download information

ISSN 1477-6588 Printed on environmentally friendly paper

Bees for Development 2003

— — —

Beekeeping economy Beekeeping technology Bee pests and diseases Bee products (including apitherapy) Melliferous flora and pollination

Full papers must be received no later than


October 2003

Second Circular available from: Dr Cleofas Cervancia Institute of Biological Sciences University of the Philippines Los Bafios

College, Laguna Philippines E-mail

Telephone +44 (0) 16007 13648 E-mail


Bees for Development Troy, Monmouth, NP25 4AB, UK