lifera are present in Japan and because A. cerana is the native host of the mite Varroa jacobsoni, A. mellifera colonies in Japan are also infested with the mite. Japanese
beekeepers routinely use both
fumigation and smoke treatments to
control the level ot Varroa disease in has an intensive agriculture industry, and (as mentioned above) each year, in addition to honey production, many colonies are used for pollination purposes.
A. mellifera. Japan
Hive used in Japan for Apis mellifera. The construction on the front of the hive is to protect honeybees in the autumn from attacks by the giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia (see below). Twenty hornets can seriously damage a colony of honeybees within two or three hours.
CAN YOU HELP? REQUEST FOR PROPOLIS Propolis is the dark, sticky substance which bees collect from the buds, leaves and branches of plants. It is used by some bees to protect their nests from enemies such as ants, and in hives it is used to seal cavities and cover debris which cannot be removed from the hive. Propolis seems to be gathered to a greater extent by bees found in temperate zones, than by honeybees in the tropics and subtropics. Because relatively little is known about propolis compared with other hive products, and in particular propolis of tropical origin has not been studied, Dr Sami Khalid, of the University of Khartoum, has started research on the chemical and medicinal properties of propolis. Dr Khalid wants to compare propolis from as many different tropical origins as possible, and hopes that readers of the Newsletter will help by sending him samples of propolis (any amount from 1 g to 1 kg!). To prevent any possibility of the spread of disease, samples must be weil wrapped and sealed and completely free from wax or any other contaminating material. All samples will be destroyed after analysis and will not come into contact with bees. It can be extremely difficult to identify the source of propolis used by bees, but it would be useful for Dr Khalid to know the type of habitat your bees forage over (e.g. miombo woodland, agricultural land, forest etc.). Send samples to Dr Sami A. Khalid, Dept of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Khartoum, PO Box 1996, Khartoum, Sudan.
Vespa mandarinia attacking honeybees at a hive entrance.
REQUEST FOR CORRESPONDENCE
Mr Alemayehu Wolde Senbet writes from Ethiopia: “Immense efforts are being undertaken in the whole of Ethiopia to overcome the famine, to prevent its spread and to stop it coming again. Efforts are being made in every field of development. Beekeeping is not something new. A lot of farmers already have their “‘keffo” but
everybody knows that the traditional method of beekeeping is economically wrong since bees are destroyed when the time comes to harvest honey”. Mr Wolde Senbet goes on to describe his efforts in promoting and developing beekeeping in Ethiopia, and he is interested in corresponding with beekeepers in other parts of the world. If you wish to write to Mr Wolde Senbet, his address is Rural Development Service, PO Box 71, Wolayita Soddo, Sidamo, Ethiopia.