Bees for Development Journal Edition 70 - March 2004

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Bees for Development helping people to strengthen their livelihoods and to fight poverty by means of beekeeping


. 70

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dear piwaAs There is more than one way to crack a nut, and the same rule applies to keeping bees in top-bar hives. In her regular articles, Pam Gregory has described top-bar hive beekeeping and in BfDJ 69, Bernhard Clauss added to the debate on top-bar width, insisting that top-bars must be made accurately and consistenily, to fit together snugly along the top of the hive. This prevents bees leaving the hive by this route - keeps predators out - and is especially helpful when working with the bees. According to Bernhard, for African bees, 32 mm is the minimum width. Now André Romet writes from Cameroon (page 6) to describe the top-bars he advocates. These are 22 mm wide with 10 mm space between each one. Here the hive is covered with a plastic sheet, that is easily removed. According to André, this method leads to less disturbance of the bees when opening the hive.









Meanwhile Johann Leyer of Austria (page 7) describes frames made of bamboo in which the top-bars and side bars stack together to achieve effective containment of the bees. this edition Pam describes how to choose a good site for bees, and attract them to occupy a hive. However, the article by Ichire and O Ojating on page 10 describes how six hives were baited patiently for nine months before the first colony arrived! In


All these experiences go to show the challenges that confront us when working with bees, and to be wary of those who would tell us that there is only one correct way to crack that nut.



in this issue... Inside information

Practical beekeeping Letters

Honey International Packers Association International Pollinator Initiative


Editor Nicola Bradbear PhD Co-ordinator Helen Jackson BSc Bees for Development Journal is published quarterly by Bees for Development and read in over 130 countries.

Subscription For one year (four editions) BfD Journal costs UKE20 (€30, US$30) including airmail delivery. If you are financially able to do so, you must pay the annual subscription. Ways to pay are shown on page 14. If you cannot pay your subscription, then write to us and we will do our best to help you. You may also subscribe at our website store, and choose to download copies of BfD Journal. Readers in developing countries may pay their subscriptions by Beeswax Barter or Candle Currency. Details on page 16 of BfDJ 67 and News and Announcements at Discounts are available for multiple subscriptions of ten or more.

Copyright If you reproduce items we publish, please acknowledge BfD Journal, provide our contact details in full, and send us a copy of the item. Sponsorship We gratefully acknowledge support from all the individuals, beekeeping associations, groups and companies that support us. Bees for Development Trust (UK registered Charity Number 1078803) raises funds to provide information to beekeepers in developing countries. For readers living in remote areas and with few resources, BfD Journal may be their only source of beekeeping advice, news and information. Financial support to sponsor subscriptions is needed: please assist if you can. You can make a donation to the Trust: — by credit card through our secure website — by cheque or CAF cheque — by bank transfer

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UK honeybees under fire Beekeeping in Okuku


News around the World


Project news from ICIMOD


Book Shelf


Look and Learn Ahead


Notice Board

Inside Information



Cover picture: Selling honey on the road to Sarajevo in BosniaHerzegovina. The herb covered mountains and gentle and productive Apis mellifera carnica bees provide excellent resources for the beekeeping industry.

Bees for Development Post

Troy, Monmouth

NP25 4AB, UK Phone Fax

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

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Better beekeeping in top-bar hives

Choose a site, making hive stands and attracting DEES... If you decide to use top-bar technology, you want to get the best from it. have said that it is easy to go wrong with topbars and this can lead to frustration and disappointment. {ft is important to understand why you are doing things, and in these articles have tried to point out why as well as how things are done.

where all the bees in a colony leave the nest place. These are the times when top-bar hives are most likely to become colonised and they need fo be ready in good order, clean and in the right place for the bees to make them their home. Otherwise you will miss the opportunity, perhaps for several months.

So, you have made an appropriate hive, accepted as the design standard for your region, built from materials suitable for your needs. The top-bars are cut exactly and you have made a roof of some type.

Siting hives



What happens next?

Preparing you are not already an experienced beekeeper, you will need to do a bit of research. Talk to local beekeepers with practical experience. You need to know two important things: If

The time of year when the main honey flow occurs;

The times of year when bees are swarming and when they migrate or abscond into your area.

will come back to swarming, migrating and absconding in future articles. Briefly, swarming is where a strong colony divides to make several new ones, with part of the colony remaining in the nest place. Migrating and absconding are |






‘Choosing a good site is very important. Remember that bees maintain the brood nest temperature at around 35°C. This means in cool places (or in cold weather) they have to use energy to maintain the temperature. In hot places or times they have to use energy and water to prevent nest temperature rising. Also remember that beeswax combs become very soft and fragile at high temperatures and melt at 64°C. If combs collapse they make a mess and you may lose the queen, the honey or the whole colony. This gives us some clues about what makes a good site for bees. Shade, forage availability (food), water and protection from severe weather rather like our own homes really! However nice the house is, if there is no food or water in the vicinity the bees will not stay. (Would you?) Local beekeepers are the best source of information about flowering types and times. Agroforesters

an area with honey badgers and ants, a top-bar hive is suspended by wires (Uganda)

A good stand for a colony of Apis cerana, keeping the bees well above the ground, and making beekeeping comfortable for the beekeeper (Nepal!) may also help in the selection of multipurpose trees or crops that benefit beekeepers especially when planning planting. Shade helps bees to maintain a comfortable temperature and protects the colony from the full force of the sun or rain. Shade also lets the beekeeper work comfortably with the bees. Research has shown that bees kept in the shade produce over 10% more honey. have come to believe that temperature is one of the factors that affects the manageability of tropical bees - the higher the temperature the more defensive they can be. After all, who wants to be disturbed at the hottest time of the day? Water can be supplied by the beekeeper in very dry times if necessary. It may be needed to prevent bees from being a nuisance fo others by taking water from around water collection points or home taps. |

This brings us on to other reasons for choosing a site. These are mainly for people's comfort, convenience and profit. Firstly, protection of people has to be considered. Bees can be a danger fo the public so avoid putting them near frequently used places. Bees are best out of sight anyway because, sadly, they often attract the attention of thieves. However, it is helpful to the beekeeper if colonies can be conveniently situated to allow easy management and honey collection. A good crop can be heavy to carry. Permission needs to be sought to use the site. continues overleaf...

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3s F


3 Hives


Ethiopia on sturdy stands, the legs painted with tur to discourage ants, and with excellent shade

Making stands and installing the hive There are two choices of installation for a top-bar hive. This will depend on the chosen apiary site and to some extent local practice, hence the value of talking to local beekeepers. Crucially, you need to know whether the honey badger or other large mammals are a problem for bees in your area. This is an important factor in determining what style of stand is best for your apiary.


The two main choices are hanging hives with strong wires from suitable supports, or to make a solid stand. As with any other beekeeping equipment, there will be different opinions about which style is best and traditional regional customs and variations in methods. The choice is your own and trying both ways allows you to choose which you prefer from personal experience - always the best form of learning.

Usually hives hung by wires are slung between two trees. If no suitable trees are available a stand that incorporates a shady roof (preferably thatched) can be constructed. If you go for the solid stand

option it is important that it is at least one metre high from the ground. If the uprights are made from a type of timber that will take root when pushed into the ground to eventually become a growing plant there will be less likelihood of hive stands collapsing with termite damage. It is essential with this type of stand that ants are not allowed to climb up the legs to attack the colony. A barrier of oil or grease will prevent this from happening. There are several methods of doing this. Non living stands can have their feet placed in old tin cans containing oil (or even water - but this evaporates quickly). Living stands or those that are inserted into the ground need a grease band around the legs. Sometimes this is done by wrapping oily rags around the legs or by brushing waste sump oil from the local garage directly on to the legs of the stand. In each case the oil/grease needs checking and renewing on a regular basis to make sure it is still effectively keeping ants away from the colony.

Priming the top-bars with wax

wax. You could think of this as the ‘building instructions’ for the bees, letting them know exactly where you want them to build their comb. As ever, there are different methods of priming the top-bars and this to some extent depends on the materials you have chosen for them. For carpenter cut top-bars which are ‘V' shaped underneath, rubbing them hard with a softened block of beeswax may be sufficient. Softer strip material such as raffia palm top-bars should have a small slot cut into them that can be filled with melted beeswax - a beeswax candle makes an easy method of doing this. Another method is to make sheets of beeswax (using a wooden board) and then cutting them into starter strips before melting them on to the top-bars. The fresher the wax and the more generous the strip the more likely the bees are to take notice of the ‘instructions’. Once honey is harvested, a strip of wax will already be in place on the top-bar and, provided there is no wax moth present, this will just need refreshing with a bit of beeswax melted from a candle.

The next job is to prime the top-bars with

continues overleaf...

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Baiting hives When bees require a new home they send out scout bees to find good places and assess their value. The scout bees report back to the main group of bees about the places they found. They do this using the bee dance and eventually one place will be selected by the swarm as the best choice. This means that you have to encourage the scout bees to think your hive is the best home for the swarm. This is done by baiting the hives put out to be colonised. Beeswax is considered to be the best bait to attract swarms and the starter strips on the top-bars may be enough to do this. If not you will need to spread more beeswax around the hive. A hive that has had bees and harvested honey will always be more attractive than a new hive because of the lovely bee scents in it. Bees also find the scent of brood very attractive so a top-bar with a small section of comb containing brood (even though it is dead) will make excellent bait. However -

beware - if you try this you must ensure that there is no disease present in the brood. If it is left for more than a week or so it will attract wax moths and will be no longer attractive. If you try this you need to be able to visit the hive often during the colonising season.

Other baits to attract bees Beekeepers in different places have their own baits (see for example the article from Nigeria on page 10 and BfDJ 33, 49, 59). Honey is not useful as a bait; bees just rob it out very quickly although a little could be smeared above the topbars where the bees can smell it but not reach it. It does also mean that bees quickly know the location of the hive and scouts may come back to it later. Other things have heard being successfully used for baiting hives are urine (not very hygienic but attractive due to the salts it contains), palm wine, fermented banana skins (both sweet and sticky) and cassava

substances that bees like or need will attract them but be careful you do not also attract unwanted pests.

Active management of baited hives Keeping a check on empty hives during the colonising season will pay dividends. In particular, make sure that some unwanted creature has not taken up residence in the hive and is repelling the bees. These could be ants, beetles, rats or spiders to name a few. Often, despite your best efforts the bees will still reject the place and it will not be clear why.

Clean everything and try another place or store the hives safely until the next swarming period. A good way of disinfecting hive bodies is to scorch them over a fire or with a burning brand.


powder (a protein source). Basically,

More top-bar debate on page 6 and at our website forums.shtml ~


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Frame hives andiop-bar fees

containing water


Gladstone Sulomons vpiury



Phe bases of ihe

stands are


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Letters Dear Friends cannot understand the reason why Bernhard Clauss and Pam Gregory do not use top-bars of width 22 mm as used in Cameroon. Most top-bar hives have seen in villages (far from towns with no possibilities to find a carpenter) have bees living or entering under the roof, because it is quite impossible for villagers without . machines to cut top-bars straight; then the bees have to stick propolis to close the space between the bars. When you . . open the hive you cannot avoid disturbing the bees which then become defensive and aggressive.

(inset) It is a pleasure to catch thes: bees in your hand



It is so simple to cut 22 mm top-bar, and no matter if it is not perfectly straight. The bars are then covered with a plastic sheet that can be taken off without disturbing the bees. As shown in the picture, it is a pleasure to catch these bees in your hand; these bees are not Buckfast bees but African bees. The space between the bars is 10 mm of course. a

Thanks for your work with beekeeping. André Romet fright} A top-bar with brood



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Andre Romet

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Solomon Islands


Bamboo frames € Johann


Peter Hardie and Kathleen Cooper, Volunteer Beekeepers in the Solomon Islands write: "Finding BfD via the website we thought we would say hello and share some thoughts with everyone working (like we are) in beekeeping for rural livelihood

development". ‘Nature is the best farmer and forester, for she does not destroy the land in order to make it productive’ (1). The keeping of honeybees comes very close to being at least a benign use of natural resources, and in fact provides a net return to the ecosystem in the form of pollination. Honeybees have the ability to produce honey, pollen, and beeswax surplus to their needs, and while collecting the ingredients for these, and in exchange for them, they facilitate the fertilisation of the source plant's embryos. The result of this relationship is more abundant fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, with a sweet bonus for the bees and beekeeper. Experience should make us hesitant to embrace such win/win schemes. Nulum Gratuitum Prandium (2) There is no free lunch!' In the case of the European honeybee Apis mellifera, importation into areas where it was not indigenous most certainly has had some impact on the local ecosystem and the nectivorous animals. The fact that we are not able to count the cost should not blind us into

thinking there is none. In much of the world, including the Solomon Islands, that barn door has already been left open, and the risks associated with the introduction of exotic species have too late been recognised. To do no harm is a relatively safe place to start when assessing any development project. The precautionary approach is almost implicit in the meaning of the word development; 'the realisation of the possible’, 'the gradual growth or unfolding of something’, and even in the context of photographic development; ‘the making of a latent image visible’ (3). But how do you do no harm in the process? The honeybee does no harm to the blossom as she gathers nectar and pollen, and provides an essential and beneficial service to the flower in exchange. If we were to look beyond doing no harm and apply the honeybee analogy of mutual benefit to those activities we promote in the name of Rural

Our picture (above) shows bamboo frames constructed by Mr Johann Leyr of Vienna, Austria. The frames (top, bottom and side-bars) are built from bamboo (split or thin stems). The side-bars should be flat planks and Mr Leyr recommends using splits from giant bamboo stems. The side-bars fit together to build a so called ‘closed frame hive’. The hive, which Mr Leyr calls ‘Ambrosius hive’ could also be made of splits from thick stems of bamboo. It is possible to put the frames into hive boxes made of wooden planks. Instead of using nails or screws to fix the frame parts, any local fixing material can be used. These frames are constructed with the intention of selling the honey as comb honey on local markets. If the use of extractors is intended, the frames could be wired and foundation mounted on the wires to prevent damage to the combs during extracting. To initiate better comb building when using no foundation, Mr Leyr recommends waxing the top and bottom bars of the frames. Then the bees will draw natural combs in line with the frames. Mr Leyr is interested in any feedback to his proposals. Source: Dr Rudolf Moosbeckhofer

Development, how would they measure up?

The meaning of rural is of the country, of the land (4) and the activity or development must not be considered separate from either the people of the land or the land itself. The activity must be considered within the context of an interconnected, interdependent and extremely complicated web. The essentials of life, air, soil, and water must not be compromised while we develop, and the protection of the land and its ability to support rural populations needs to be a major consideration when promoting any particular sustainable rural livelihood.

That all people, at all times, have enough good quality food, for an active and healthy life, now and in the future! (5) seems a reasonable goal for our development efforts, or, to ensure that the

activities we promote or encourage do not in any way diminish this expectation.

Can beekeeping contribute to, or be part of local food security and a sustainable rural livelihood in the Solomon Islands, and elsewhere, while remaining at least benign or ‘of the land’. Can the development of the art and science of bee farming (apiculture) in the Solomon Islands ‘do no harm’? Does the mutualism that exists between bee and flower extend to, and include the rural community? So far, the answer to these questions is a qualified yes. References 1. Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community, 1992 2. A Roman sage! 3, 4. Webster's I] New Riverside

Dictionary, 1984 5.

Tony Janson, Choiseu! Bay Planting Materials Network Conference, 2003

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way with sugar syrups. Honey must not

Honey International Packers Association

be ultrafiltered.

addition, honey must contain no residues of antibiotics, anti-bacterials such as sulphonamides, other drugs or toxic metals. Thus beekeepers must be highly trained in apicultural techniques that enable them to be commercially successful without using any chemicals. In


About 1.2 million tonnes of honey are produced every year and about 400,000 tonnes of this total are traded internationally. The major importing regions are the EU, Japan, and the USA. There are many exporting countries among which the most important are Argentina, China and Mexico. Most of this honey is exported in bulk in 300 kg drums and put into retail packs in the country of sale to the consumer. Honey is considered by all consumers to be natural and pure. It has been a traditional medicine in China, the Ayurvedic medicine of India, and in Europe for a very long time. This makes the quality of the honey paramount. The risk to the reputation of honey by the presence of contaminants or added syrups is very high. We must protect that reputation at all costs. The value of beekeeping to agriculture via pollination is probably about twenty times the value of any honey produced. Bees are also extremely important to biodiversity. The man-made disaster of loss of species is the worst since the age of the dinosaurs. Beekeeping must be promoted wherever possible for the benefit of the environment as well as agriculture. The Honey international Packers Association (HIPA) intends to T{C


Swienty’*. Full range beekeeping equipment suppliers jars, packaging, filling


world-wide export

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

provide advice to governments in the development of national agricultural policy so that there is a full awareness of the importance of beekeeping.

Formation of the HIPA

The packers are those most directly in the firing line from consumers and supermarkets if there is any suspicion about the quality of the honey. Honey is quite an uncertain crop due to the effects of the weather on the behaviour of bees and the location of bee flora. It has therefore been decided to form HIPA with three main objectives, to ensure the continuity of the honey supply, to ensure the quality of the honey supply and to pursue these two objectives by beekeeper training worldwide. The Association is formed in such a way that it can seek charity funding to finance these objectives. Continuity of the honey supply Disappearance of a product from a market is a disaster for that product. Having to relaunch it and redevelop the market is very difficult and the original market position may never be regained. Thus it is very important for the packers in the major importing regions to be able to seek supplies from many sources. An important training function will be to help beekeeping co-operatives, large commercial beekeepers and associations to achieve the final step to 20 tonne container loads for export and to ensure the administrative infrastructure to permit this, such as certificates from the relevant government departments.

Quality of the honey supply Honey must comply with the Codex Alimentarius definition. This means that the bees must be given time to seal the combs with wax before the honey is extracted, ensure that if the bees have to be fed sugar, none of the sugar syrup contaminates the honey, and ensure that the honey is not adulterated in any other 8


Training of beekeepers HIPA is dedicated to the extensive training of beekeepers so that they can produce pure and natural honey ata commercially viable price and sell to packers and exporters a product that is acceptable in all markets of the world. This training must include good apicultural practice, disease control by acceptable means, formation of co-operatives and associations, good management practices, selling and market development. HIPA will work with governments to ensure the infrastructure provides adequate support to beekeepers. Organisations such as Bees for Development will be contracted by HIPA to carry out this training. The system developed in Australia, BQual, has very generously been made available to HIPA and will be used to support trainers and beekeepers, initially in exporting countries. Enquiries for membership details should be made to Peter Martin, 32 West Avenue, Hayes UB3 2EY, UK. Fax +44 208 569 2434. E-mail Peter Martin, HIPA Chairman

UK honeybees

in the firing line Dhafer Behnam Dr Dhafer Behnam is a doctor of medicine, until recently practising in Baghdad, Irag. A few months ago he and his family travelled to a new home and life in the UK. In Iraq, Dhafer was also an enthusiastic beekeeper, and Secretary of the Iraqi Beekeepers' Association. He contributed several interesting articles to this Journal. In the UK, Dhafer has taken up a new job: Head of Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey in south-west England. Many readers will know that Buckfast was made world-famous through the work of Brother Adam, who spent his life at Buckfast breeding bees. Brother Adam died in 1996 aged 99. In this article Dhafer describes his view of the British approach fo Varroa control. continues overleaf...

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African Pollinator Initiative West African bees to the roll call The contribution of bees to the conservation of biodiversity came into prominence during a four-day workshop in December 2003 on the taxonomy of West African bees. Tropical and subtropical areas of Africa South of the Sahara have an estimated 3000 bee species, all of which are important in the pollination of wild and cultivated plants.

Four days of intensive field and laboratory sessions covered the following: —

methods of collection of insects and other pollinating organisms

identification of bee species using taxonomic keys

methods of preservation of sampled specimens for future scientific work

At the opening ceremony, the FAO country representative in Ghana, Mr A Ndong Mba, expressed the need for farmers to adopt sound agricultural practices to conserve pollinators. Dr Peter Kwapong, the West African


Co-ordinator of API, called on all stakeholders in food production to promote the use of farming methods that are friendly to organisms that play key roles in crop pollination, as he said: "Without these pollinators yields of farm produce will dwindle". Dr Eardley outlined plans and ongoing activities of regional groupings under the International Pollinator Initiative which seeks to promote the conservation and use of organisms such as bees for effective pollination of plants.

Kwame Aidoo BfD's Correspondent




The workshop tackled some aspects of the main objectives of the African Pollinator Initiative (API): identifying all pollinating organisms in Africa, including bees, and promoting their conservation for improved pollination of plants.

The West African Secretariat of the AP| based in the Department of Zoology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana organised the meeting which was sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Research scientists, agricultural extension officers, beekeepers, and fruit crop farmers came together to learn about bees, and other pollinators. Dr Connal Eardley, a bee taxonomist from South Africa, was the resource scientist for the workshop.

After the spread of the Varroa mite to honeybee colonies across the world, beekeeping management has had to change dramatically. Varroa was found in the UK in 1992. It has had a bad impact on beekeeping in general, on professionals and on amateurs. Now it is more than 10 years since it was identified in the island. Since then, what has been

done? The pyrethroid chemicals namely fluvalinate (Apistan) and flumethrin (Bayvarol) have been. used for over seven years. The persistent use of these materials has allowed the mite to build up resistance to these substances and this has been recorded in some parts of the country. What is being done against this issue? Thymol compounds are to some extent effective in knocking down Varroa, yet they agitate the bees, are expensive to buy, and are not doing the job well

enough. There was talk about physical manceuvres, like drone comb trapping,

Field sessions included collection of insects and other pollinating organisms

queen confinement and the use of meshed hive floors. These tasks, although they are useful, are too time consuming for use on a commercial scale and might affect the build up of colonies during crucial periods.

Many hope that genetic selection will play its role. However, Varroa is an opportunistic parasite: it is not qa natural parasite of Apis mellifera. Thus Apis mellifera would need infinite time to show genetic mutation, if at all. The defence mechanism of the Asian hive bee, Apis cerana, is to have short incubation periods for drone brood and absconding of colonies to settle in another site, which is not the case for European honeybees, Apis mellifera. After all, if one scientist beekeeper succeeds in getting an inbred line of bees that shows some resistance against Varroa, the way of mating of bees, and the need for hybrids to gain vigour, would make this character lost after one or two generations. It is not as if finding a colony or group of colonies that have less Varroa mites means this

line is resistant to Varroa. Half facts can never be a compromise for the whole truth. It is not a matter of being pessimistic, but rather emphasising the need for alternatives. Integrated pest management may be the ideal solution. However, beekeepers need more than one material to apply and to have different manoeuvres. Beekeepers and decisionmakers need to plot immediate actions and long-term ones to solve the problem. Otherwise this problem of resistance will spread to a level that will jeopardise the British beekeeping industry. Nobody likes the use of chemicals in honeybee colonies, but leaving these tiny creatures unaided is another sour solution. The pyrethroid compounds have been used before and they are chemicals. We must make use of other countries' experience in finding and registering the use of alternative chemicals, as an urgent act. Meanwhile we should encourage any scientific approach, and any inspiration, as a prospect for the future.


Bees for Development Journal

in Okuku, Nigeria Beekeeping O

Ichire Ojating and


Ojating, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Beekeeping with Langstroth frame hives was undertaken for the first time in Okuku for two years between December 2001 and

June 2003. The work



Baiting and siting of the hives Six Langstroth frame hives were baited by smearing a mixture of palm wine and honey on the frames as well as on the inside walls and flight entrance of the hives on 3 December 200I. The hives were sited under Gmelina arborea, Delonix regia and Cassia nodosa (Cassia siamea) trees. The baiting of the hives was repeated every two days and was discontinued as soon as a hive was occupied by a colony of bees.


Date of hive



Number of weeks before hive occupied


3 September 2002



10 September 2002



27 February 2003



28 February 2003


Hive occupancy The first hive was occupied by a swarm of bees on 3 September 2002, ie nine months after the baited hives were placed in the apiary (see Table right for the hive occupancy details}. From this record it is evident that the best hive occupancy rate was observed at weeks 65-76, during which four hives were occupied. This means that the rate of hive occupancy was highest at Okuku one year after the hives were baited and sited under the trees. The implication is that a beginner beekeeper using Langstroth frame hives in Okuku has to continue to bait hives for at least a full year before having a reasonable number of bee colonies.



May 2003



3 April



Bee colony management The bee colonies in the hives were inspected twice each week for pests, diseases and general condition. Such insect pests as black ants, red ants, sugar ants, small and large hive beetles, and wax moths were killed if present. Agama lizards, toads and geckos were driven away from the hives. The bee colonies were never fed with sugar syrup.


eek! Dr Ichire Quating with some or ine Langslruin frame hives used in ine study

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Hazards Bush fires are a very serious threat to beekeeping in Okuku. In this Savanna Zone, vegetation is always burnt completely every year during the five month dry periods between November and March. These annual bush burnings cause colonies to migrate to distant lands and the colonies hardly come down to occupy hives baited with attractants. Such baited hives normally remain fallow, unoccupied by bees for a long period. Bush fires also destroy all plants including melliferous trees. Consequently bees are unable to find enough nectar or pollen.

The cutting of branches of melliferous trees such as Gmelina arborea by farmers also causes shortages of nectar and pollen. The farmers use the branches of the trees as yam stakes. The small hive beetle Aethina tumida and the large hive beetle Holplostomus fuligineus are very common and very dangerous insect pests of the bee colonies at Okuku. These insect pests caused the absconding of three colonies in April and

August 2003. The wax moth Galleria mellonela, is one of the great pests of colonies at Okuku. Galleria mellonela destroyed all the combs of one colony in August 2003 and caused all the bees to abscond from the hive as they laid eggs into the comb cells and their larvae fed on honey and produced cobwebs that damaged the entire combs.

The house flies Musca domestica also do some damage to the combs as they eat the honey and lay eggs into the comb.

NOTICE BOARD INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITY The World Forest Institute is seeking individuals working in forestry and natural resources to apply for our International Fellowship Program. The Institute is seeking people with initiative, interest in international forestry issues, and a good command of English. Visit: APICULTURE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST Deadline for receipt of entries 30 April 2004. Further details: MARKET OPPORTUNITY Our association is interested in the marketing of hive products, especially honey and beeswax. We are looking for business partnerships and to exchange opportunities world-wide. Contact: Samba Sene on

FINANCIAL SUPPORT WANTED My name is Willy Chong. am a beekeeper in Apac District in Uganda. want funding from any NGO or any good person, |


who can fund me to support my project since LRA burnt ail my hives. need funding to buy land to keep my bees and also to buy top-bar hives since am living in Apac Town and not my home place. Please assist me so that also promote my project. Contact: Willy via Bees for Development |



See also page 15

The red Safari ants, locally known as Tailor ants, Dorilidae and Sugar ants did some damage to colonies as they fed on the stored honey of the very weak colonies. The black Soldier ants are the commonest that cause absconding in Okuku during the rainy season from May to October.

Agama lizards, Agama spp were always seen at the flight

entrances in the afternoons catching the bees and eating them. These reduce the population of guard bees and thereby weaken the strength of the colony. While Agama lizards eat bees in the day time, the Gecko lizards feed on bees at night. Hives placed near the ground were disturbed by toads which were often found around the flight entrance catching and eating the bees at night time.

Prospects Honey hunting is practised and there is a high demand for honey: surplus can be sold easily in the local and city markets, and people in nearby hospitals are in need of honey. Frame hives can greatly improve and increase beekeeping as the few beekeepers and/or traditional honey hunters are eager to receive advice geared towards making beekeeping a more rewarding and lucrative business.

The flora of Okuku could support about 5,000 productive bee colonies. This represents an annual production capacity of 83,000 kg of honey (ie 16.67 kg per colony) worth about N3,000 or US$30 per colony based on 2003 domestic market prices.

Today's production of honey in Okuku is less than 1% of the potential. Production can be raised through education of the people on the benefits of beekeeping. The people should be made to know that bush burning does more harm than good.

Concluding remarks The moral and financial support of Bees for Development and readers of this Journal is being solicited to enable the authors to promote further beekeeping in Okuku for meaningful economic and social benefits.



Bees for Development Journal





am Terence, a beekeeper in Cameroon. Our region is

Apitherapy training The Himalayan Apitherapy Centre, Kathmandu, organised and conducted successfully a five day training course in July 2003 for nine people from different academic backgrounds. The participants were a medical doctor, bee scientist, beekeepers and patients who were deeply interested in the scientific application of bee products. These people had been harassed by the treatment of western conventional medicines at hospital and nursing homes. The course emphasised the treatment of shoulder pain, lower back pain, knee pain, sciatica, ache, splitting and shooting pain, back calf pain, sore foot and rheumatism. The main resource person was Dr Ratna Thapa, Department of Biological Science, Mae Fae Luang University, Thailand. The Royal Thai Ambassador Mrs Phenchome Incharoensak awarded certificates to successful candidates. At the same time two books Beekeeping: income generation for living, and Apitherapy, written by Dr Ratna Thapa in Nepali language were also released. Madhusudan Man Singh, RECAST, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur


endowed with white honey and it is very famous and in high demand. This honey is produced when bees visit and collect nectar and pollen from Schefflera abyssinica and Nuxia congesta. am trying to study this relationship to prove that bees visiting these plants produce white honey. If anybody can help me attend a course in beekeeping and carry out this research | will be grateful. |

Contact Terence via Bees for Development


defence of the killer bee

Bees found in tropical Africa are notorious for their defensiveness. They are held in such dread that the tag ‘killerbee' seems to have stuck to them. True as this may to some extent be, the bees appear to be shedding their unnecessary aggression. Consequently, they can now be kept relatively close to humans, without undue fear and unnecessary panic. ‘Killer-bees' are now so friendly

Do your bees

BeeVital it

they do we would like to test and possibly buy it from you James Fearnley of BeeVital is a

leading world authority on the nature of propolis and its medicinal properties. He is author of

Bee Propolis: Natural Healing from the Hive

Price 7.99 plus P&P If you are interested in finding out if your propolis is suitable for medicinal use and would maybe like to sell it then please send a sample (50g) to:

BeeVital Brereton Lodge, Goathland, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5JR UK

OR CONTACT US DIRECTLY Tel: +44 (0)1947 896037 Fax: +44 (0)1947 896482 Mob: +44 (0)7980 624988

Information sought

Alahji Idris Zaria, a bee-keeping extensionist based in Zaria, Nigeria would be happy if you could help with his search for C F Jerssen, one of the first British beekeepers to visit Nigeria in the early 1960s. He needs information to include in the history of the Beekeeping Extension Resource Centre. Contact Alahji via Bees for Development


make propolis?


that, if you so choose, you can keep them on the balcony of your living room, in your backyard, on the tree right in front of your house, or just behind your office window. There are important conditions: appropriate management by the beekeeper, and the knowledge, co-operation and friendly disposition of your neighbours. The ‘killer-bee' is getting along with the rest of humanity, and the ecological balance is the happier for it. Bola Adepoju

Update was assigned to Moyowosi and Kigosi Game Reserves in Kigoma Region working out the important beekeeping |

issues that have to be considered during the preparation of a General Management Plan for the two Reserves. Beekeepers are the major stakeholders in protected areas and expert analysis was needed to bring up issues for discussion in a stakeholders’ workshop, and to eventually include them in the Management Plan. This work was financed by Kagera Kigoma Game Reserves Rehabilitation Project, which is funded by the EU. In 2002 there was a good crop of honey for Tabora Beekeepers’ Co-operative, but in 2003 the beekeepers did not get such a good harvest.

Liana Hassan, BfD's Correspondent in Tanzania

Development of beekeeping It is estimated that Tanzania is capable of supporting up to 9.2 million productive honeybee colonies in forests, woodlands and farm areas. The potential production from these colonies is estimated to reach 138 billion Tanzania shillings* every year. At present, Tanzania produces annually about 4,860 tonnes of honey worth 4.9 billion TzS, and about 324 tonnes of beeswax worth 648 million TzS. This is only 3.5% of the potential of the beekeeping industry. 12

The National Beekeeping Programme (NBKP) is an instrument designed to put the Government's 1998 Beekeeping Policy into practice. The main objectives of the NBKP are: 1.

The sustainable supply of beekeeping products and services to meet needs at local, national and global levels;

2. Enhanced national capacity to manage and develop the beekeeping sector in a collaborative manner; 3. To enable a legal and regulatory framework for the sector;

4. Increased economic contribution, employment and foreign exchange earnings through sustainable beekeeping-based industry development and trade of bee products. References

The Notional Beekeeping Policy (1998) Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania The National Beekeeping Programme (2001) Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania *Tanzania shillings 1000 = US$1

Gerald Jones Kamwenda, Forestry & Beekeeping Division, Dar es Salaam


Pr O} ect N EWS Information from


Faroog Ahmad, Uma Partap, Surendra Joshi and Min Gurung


PROGRAMMES Here we bring you another article with news about the work of the Austrian Government funded beekeeping project at ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal. In BfDJ 69 we discussed the value of Apis cerana beekeeping for mountain farmers of Alital village in the far western region of Nepal. Here we describe some ongoing initiatives for scaling up programme activities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. Recently members of ICIMOD's International Support Group and Board of Governors met with beekeepers and marketing entrepreneurs and were able to see for themselves some of the significant achievements of our beekeeping programme. They were using the opportunity provided by the Annual Board Meeting, held in December 2003 in Pokhara (Nepal) to assess ICIMOD's overall performance and discuss new plans. The interested participants visited expanding farmer-owned apiaries and talked with newly emerging entrepreneurs who are setting up businesses to fulfil the whole range of needs of new and established beekeepers, from supply of beekeeping equipment, colonies, and even high quality, specially bred queens, through to marketing of honey. Local knowledge has been joined with new

technologies to exploit the indigenous bee resources, and has proven successful both for conserving biodiversity and in generating income. The striking achievements of the bee programme convinced Mr Shoaib Sultan Khan, one of the leading proponents of rural support networks in South Asia, to promote the idea of expanding this model of beekeeping as a development intervention through the existing networks of community organisations. ICIMOD is now working with partners to look at different ways of scaling up the use of beekeeping as a component in rural support programmes throughout the region. As a first step, the indigenous honeybee programme has joined with the IFAD-supported programme at ICIMOD to support the 'North Eastern Region Community Resource Management

Project! of India in Manipur to assist them in developing indigenous honeybee

programmes on a large-scale. Three other IFAD supported projects, two in Pakistan and one in Nepal, have also expressed interest in carrying forward the achievements of the ICIMOD bee programme. We are now looking at ways to ensure that this trend of up scaling continues in other parts of the HKH.

Brazilian experience to benefit HKH farmers Two professionals from ICIMOD's bee programme were invited to present the achievements of ICIMOD's pollinators and pollination programme at 'Sdo Paulo Plus 5' - a large gathering of bee scientists and pollination experts hosted by the University of SGo Paulo and the Brazilian Pollinator Initiative in

Sao Paulo, Brazil, in October 2003, with FAO as the major sponsor. They took the opportunity to visit the University campus at Ribeirao Preto, a world-recognised centre for research into Africanised bees, led by Professor David De Jong. The ICIMOD delegation was able to learn from some of the enormous experience of Brazilian scientists and technologists in the field of Africanised bees and stingless bee management, and we very much hope that some of this experience can be replicated in the HKH region and brought to local communities during the forthcoming cycles of the bee programme. Professor De Jong also co-ordinated a visit of the delegation to the factory of Apis Flora - a Brazilian company involved in producing a variety of value-added bee products. This company is ISO 9000 certified and is one of the major bee product

formulation and export companies in Brazil. The team is reviewing the lessons learned from the visit and is


Mandhoj Gurung, a BEENPRO associate and enthusiastic beekeeper, demonstrates beekeeping with Apis cerana on the roof of his house in Pokhara, Nepal 13

considering changes in the present strategy for product upgrading and marketing in the light of the knowledge gained.

Bees for Development Journal





2003 100 pages Text in English, French, German, Italian, Slovenian and Spanish. Hardcover 18.50 (€27.80) Code $510 A beautiful book about Slovenia where four out of every 1000 inhabitants are beekeepers. Colour photographs accompany the six-language text offering succinct and interesting details including the history of beekeeping, the work of the renowned beekeeping teacher Anton Jagna, information about the indigenous Carniolan bee, migratory beekeeping, and the famous painted hive fronts. The final chapter of glorious colour photographs depict 'the bee in flight’. Mief Maya Honing


ABERLES et des HOMMES et commerce equitable mple du mel Maya ‘Mexique.




DES ABEILLES ET DES HOMMES edited by Miel Maya Honing

2003 224 pages Text 16

in French

(Code M250) or Dutch (Code M255) editions

(€24) each

book about honey, apiculture in Mexico, and the work of a Belgian organisation, Miel Maya Honing, to achieve fair trade of the honey.

This is


The book consists of five parts. The first part (four chapters) provides an introduction to honey and basic apicultural information necessary to understand the work of beekeepers. The second part (five chapters) describes the situation of beekeepers and dpiculture in Mexico: case studies showing the value of beekeeping for sustainable development, and the marketing of honey. The third part (three chapters) describes the world market for honey, trade within Europe, and the effect of globalisation for Mexico's trade. The fourth part (six chapters) provides information on fair trade, the organisations that promote it with discussion of fair prices, how to arrive at them, and their social impact. The final part of the book (three chapters) describes Fairtrade in general, and in particular Miel Maya Honing's success with honey trade in Belgium and other European countries. This book will be informative for everyone interested in co-operation and development, and alternative approaches to trade. Paul Latham has produced a CD with both the English and French editions of the booklet Apiculture en Bas-Congo/ Beekeeping in Bas Congo that we reviewed in BfDJ 69. The cost is 16.80 (€25.20) Code VID29

The video An introduction to keeping bees (Second Sight Productions) reviewed in BfDJ 65 is now available in DVD format. To order use code VID24A The cost is 19.90 (€29.30). BOOKSHELF reaches interested readers in nearly every country of the world. Publishers and authors are invited to send books, videos or CDs on beekeeping and related aspects of development for possible review. We will also consider them for inclusion in our website store and mail order service. If you know of a publication which we do not stock, but you think we should, do let us know. ORDERING


Ways to Pay - payments to Bees for Development 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

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Bees for Development Journal

LOOK AHEAD ARGENTINA World Symposium on Beekeepers Cooperatives and Associations 2-5 September 2004, Mendoza Further details: BRAZIL International Workshop on Solitary Bees and their Role in Pollination 26-29 April 2004, Ceara Further details:

www.solitarybees.ufc. br XV Congresso Brasileiro de Apicultura (XV Brazilian Apiculture Congress) 18-22 May 2004, Ponta Negra Further details:

8th International Conference on Tropical Apiculture 6th Brazilian Bee Research Meeting 6-10 September 2004, Ribeirdo Preto Further details:

CUBA 1st Latinoamerican Beekeeping Meeting

Ist Cuban Beekeeping Congress 7-9 September 2004, Habana Further details: FRANCE 10th Honey Festival 25 April 2004, Mouans-Sartoux

Further details:

GERMANY First German Propolis Congress and

Course with International Participation 26-31 March 2004, Passau Further details: APIMONDIA SYMPOSIUM Prevention of residues in honey Il 27-28 April 2004, Celle Further details: IRELAND Irish Beekeepers Summer Course 26-31 July 2004, Gormanston Further details: XXXIX APIMONDIA International Apicultural Congress 21-26 August 2005, Dublin Further details: ITALY International Forum on Partnerships for Sustainable Development 4-6 March 2004, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy Further details: www.minambiente. it

European Conference of - EurBee Pollination and the Pollinator Imperative 19-23 September 2004, Udine Further details: TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 4th Caribbean Beekeeping Congress 15-19 November 2004, Trinidad Further details: see page 16


UK British Beekeepers Association Spring Convention 24 April 2004, Stoneleigh Park Further details: National Honey Show 21-23 October, RAF Hendon Further details: VIETNAM APIMONDIA SYMPOSIUM Issues concerning developing countries' international trade in honey 23-28 November 2004, Hanoi Further details: see page 16

Bees for Development helps projects in developing countries with copies of BfD Journal and other publications for use at training courses and workshops. We must receive your request three months ahead of the meeting date with an indication of the number of participants. Organisations with some funding resources available can order a Workshop Box: 50 for 25 participants {includes surface mail delivery}. See ways to pay on page 14 or visit our website store.

NOTICE BOARD NOTICE BOARD PROPOLIS We are a national bee society in Peru interested

IFS GRANTS International Foundation for Science grants approved in 2003 show that 46% went to young researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa, 27% to Latin America, 22% to Asia and 5% to North Africa and the Middle East. 2004 will see a strong drive in the less developed regions of Latin America. See:


promoting the harvest and commercialisation of propolis with thousands of beekeepers. In order to achieve this objective, we need economic support. Can anyone help us? Contact: Ezequiel Quenta:

SUPPORT SOUGHT lam Mr Afioluwa Moggji, a beekeeper in Nigeria trying to expand my apiary hoping to reach 5000 hives within 7 years. Is there a commercial beekeeper with experience of beekeeping in the tropics who would be willing to mentor me? Contact: 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 income-generating 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.

BEE BOOKS NEW AND OLD The Weaven, Little Dewchurch, Hereford HR2 6PP. UK, for your new and second-hand books. Telephone +44 (0)1432 840529 or IT PAYS


BfD Journal offers a great opportunity to contact thousands of readers in over 100 countries. Quarter page, two-colour advertisements 65; full page 200; Notice Board items 0.50 per word. Other sizes available: details from the address left. Enclosures also accepted. (Charges subject to VAT in EC countries)

Why not advertise on our website? BEE CRAFT

A full colour monthly beekeeping magazine for beginners and

experts alike covering all aspects of beekeeping in the UK and Ireland. FREE SAMPLE COPY on request, 18.00 (UK), €36 (Ireland), US$51 (USA) for 12 issues (all other currencies on request). Credit cards accepted. Contact:

Applications for projects with budgets over US$10,000 must be submitted through a Government Ministry. See:




Have you visited the BfD website? Start or renew your subscription to BfD Journal ~ A free way to publicise your —

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forthcoming meetings Browse through our Store - a unique collection of over 200 books, posters, videos and CDs about beekeeping and development Request information Find news and events

NEW POST IN SOUTH INDIA Bees for Development and Keystone Foundation are establishing an Apiculture Resource Centre at Keystone Centre in Kotagiri, Nilgiri Mountains, Tamil Nadu. We intend to employ a Resource Person to work at Keystone to ensure the provision of Bees for Development information services throughout India. Requirements: You will have good qualifications, academic and personal, with initiative, imagination, and ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. The post will include training in UK at Bees for Development. You need to be able to work at field, office, governmentat and international levels. There will be a contract with Keystone Foundation for three years, with an initial probationary period of six months. You need to be an Indian citizen.

Applicants should send their CV, as soon as possible, with the names of three referees, and a one-page statement of purpose as to how you would help to develop this Information Resource Centre for India.

Applications by e-mail (only) to:




DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN HONEY 23-28 November 2004 Hanoi, Vietnam The objective of the Symposium is to enable more producer groups in developing countries to enter the world honey market.


Tunapuna, Trinidad

Call for papers and poster displays Deadline for abstracts 31 August 2004 World Apiexpo 2004

Beekeeping equipment and hive products To

receive the First Circular contact:

Mr Dinh Quyet Tam Director of the Bee Research and Development Centre

Langha, Dong da Hanoi

Further information will be in the next issue of BfD Journal and on our website



Dates and venue to be confirmed

ISSN 1477-6588

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Bees for Development

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Bees for Development 2004