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Asian Apicultural Association

CONFERENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES

In February the 7th Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) Conference was hosted by the University of the Philippines, Los Bafios. 215 participants from 20 countries met in the beautiful, tropical forest environment of University of the Philippines Los Bafos College, at the foot of Mount Makiling, 60 km south of Manila. The five-day Conference consisted of four days of lectures, posters and practical workshops, and one day of technical visits. Thirty-seven papers were presented. Speakers included top scientists presenting their current research on the biology of Asian honeybees, experienced practitioners describing aspects of apiculture underway throughout the region, as well as students describing their research projects. The technical tours included visits to one large-scale commercial Apis mellifera beekeeping company, and one smaller scale Apis cerana apiary.

Dr Cleofas Cervancia and her Organising Committee prepared a worthwhile and enjoyable event for participants. A great achievement was to have the book of all papers, the Proceedings, published before the Conference - this allowed excellent understanding and debate about the work being presented.

During the week AAA held its AGM and made plans for the next two years (see BIDJ 66 for Asian representatives}. The next AAA Conference will take place in Perth, Australia, in March 2006. Conference Day 3 included a visit to llog Maria Honeybee Farms. Joel and Boleng Magsaysay manage 800 Apis mellifera honeybee colonies and harvest honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly. From these are made a wide range of secondary products. The Bee Farm also offers contract pollination services and sells bees, beekeeping equipment and supplies.

7th AAA Conference Sponsors

University of the Philippines, Los Bafos

Beenet Philippines Foundation

FFTC - Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region

VITA Europe Lid

Thanks to Vita Europe Lid whose sponsorship enabled

Dr Nicola Bradbear to participate in the AAA Conference

Established in 1992, AAA encourages exchange of information between beekeepers and bee scientists in Asia.

BID Journal is proud to be the official Newsletter of AAA.

Resolutions of the 7th AAA Conference

1. Gaps in existing knowledge of Asian bees should be identified by documenting observations on bee biology, behaviour and other information related to bees.

2. The importance of the contribution of non-Apis species, including stingless bees, bumblebees and others to pollination, man's well being, and the maintenance of ecological balance, must be given due recognition. This funding for research towards the improvement of management skills in utilising non-Apis species in crop pollination, among other areas.

3. More data on pollinators and bee plants must be collected to give a fuller picture of bee behaviour, as well as to shed light on ecological relationships, and provide an indicator of environmental changes and trends.

4. The conservation of indigenous bees should be actively promoted, both through the protection of their natural environment and by culturing of such species, a practice which will contribute to the maintenance of these species while benefiting man. Stricter policies on deforestation should be implemented.

5. An integrated approach to the management of bee pests and diseases should be supported, incorporating chemical, ecological and other approaches, making for a holistic and ultimately more effective strategy.

6. Research on genetic and molecular aspects of bees should be given emphasis, not only as basic research, but for its contribution to the elucidation of the taxonomy and evolutionary status of Asian bees - an area which has seen many recent developments and revisions.

7. In order to maximise the impact of research and development on apiculture in the continent, existing technologies should be made freely available and modified to suit the needs of different countries. Traditional practices should be recognised and complemented with new ones. This could be done through government agencies, the private sector (including existing national industry networks), or through the Internet, where they might be accessed through a centralised website.

8. The development of apitherapy should be encouraged through the dissemination of information to both the medical community and the general public, even as more research is conducted in this area to establish a firm scientific basis for this discipline.

9. Those involved in bee science and apiculture should be more aggressive in submitting relevant proposals to funding agencies, like the FAO, to promote research in the field as well as to increase awareness on the part of the agencies and the general public of the importance of bee science and technology.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In BfDJ67 we published Simple ways to manage stingless bees, (pages 3-5}. The article featured the farm of Mr Rodolfo Palconitin who is well known for raising Trigona sp and Apis cerana and as a long-term co-operator with the University of the Philippines, Los Baftos Bee Program. On page 5 of the Journal the picture features Mr Palconitin's daughter Flor.