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Does beekeeing enhance rural household income in Botswana?

Joyce P Lepetu, O Thelo and N V Sebina

A case study of Gaborone region

In Botswana, the beekeeping section reported 222 individual beekeepers with 232 colonies, 85 beekeeping clubs with 86 colonies, 40 government demonstration apiaries with 97 colonies and 16 beekeeping groups with 24 colonies. Table 1 shows that 73 bee colonies produced 2,578 kg of comb honey, which generated sales of BWP36,930 (US$4,560; €3,363) during the honey flow period of October 2000 to July 2001. Table 2 lists the main problems encountered by the beekeepers.

Table 1. Honey production inventory, October 2000 to July 2001*

Name: Individual beekeepers

- No of colonies: 47

- Kg of honey harvested: 1, 741

- Average kg of honey per hive: 37

- Price per kg (BWP): 15

- Sales (BWP): 26,118

Name: Beekeeping clubs

- No of colonies: 19

- Kg of honey harvested: 487

- Average kg of honey per hive: 25

- Price per kg (BWP): 15

- Sales (BWP): 7,312

Name: Government apiaries

- No of colonies: 7

- Kg of honey harvested: 350

- Average kg of honey per hive: 35

- Price per kg (BWP): 10

- Sales (BWP): 3,500

Total:

- No of colonies: 73

- Kg of honey harvested: 2,578

- Sales (BWP): 36,930

Table 2. Problems for Gaborone region beekeepers*

(47 beekeepers interviewed)

Problem: Robbed by humans

- No of beekeepers: 2 (11%)

Problem: Attack by bee pirate (insect predator)

- No of beekeepers: 15 (32%)

Problem: Absconding

- No of beekeepers: 6 (12%)

Problem: Lack of management skills

- No of beekeepers: 37 (78%)

Problem: Absconding by drought effects

- No of beekeepers: 0 (0%)

Problem: Insufficient bee forage

- No of beekeepers: 4 (9%)

Problem: Insufficient visits by beekeeping personnel

- No of beekeepers: 33 (70%)

Problem: Attack by wax moth

- No of beekeepers: 6 (13%)

Problem: Attack by ants

- No of beekeepers: 25 (53%)

The whole article Potential of the beekeeping industry enhancing rural household incomes in Botswana is on the \nformation Centre of the BfD website

*The original article shows the data in a table which is not available on this mobile friendly version