Bees for Development Journal Edition 91 - June 2009

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Bees/ov Development Journal 91

BEES COUNT An online strategy to compile a world checklist of bees resulted in biologists identifying nearly 19,500 bee species worldwide. 2,000 more species than previously estimated. Compiling the list

took over five years’ effort by bee taxonomists in six continents. /f can

e iewed at

Last moth the UK House of Lods debated hreat to the British bee population*. Subjects discussed included the importance of bees for global food supplies, the impact of a declining bee

population on the pollination of crops, and the spread of the Varroa mite. *






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A three day Conference held in Coonoor, India in March 2009 marked the end of the three year Project examining Bees, Biodiversity and Forest Livelihoods in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Project was funded by the UK Government's Darwin Initiative, and was implemented by Kotagiri based Keystone Foundation, in collaboration with Bees for Development, the Overseas of Development of East Anglia, UK and the Centre Development Group/School Studies, University for Agri-Environmental Research, University of Reading, UK. The Project has been featured in several previous editions of this Journal. Proceedings of the Conference will be available soon.








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response to modern hives or modern ideas ...3

Controlling American foulbrood without 4


American foulbrood in sub-Saharan Africa......... 7

USA surveys honey bee !0SS€S......


Boosting cashew production in Ghana............... 8 ApiTrade Africa launches new initiative




News around the World


Trees Bees

Look Ahead/Learn




ANe@ad .









Bf D Joumal Published quarterly by Bees for Development. and distributed to readers in over 130 countries. Editor Nicola Bradbear PhD Co-ordinator Helen Jackson BSc

Subscription GBP20 (€30. US$40) for one year, four issues including airmail delivery see page 16. BID Journal is included with membership of BID Trust

Copyright You are weicome to translate and/or reproduce items appearing in BfDJ as part of our Information Service.

Permission 1s given on the understanding that BfDJ and author(s) are acknowledged, B/D contact details are provided in full. and you send us a copy of the item or the website address where it is used

BeesforDevelopment Post


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+44 (0)16007 13648 www.



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bess, Bladversity arid Fores! bevel Aoous Beneath feenmig jdeatanida irees

SUPPORT Bees for Development Trust acknowledge: Anglo American Group Foundation, John Lewis Council, Manuka Life Ltd, Panta Rhea Foundation, Rowse Family Trust, Simply Manuka, Synchronicity Foundation, E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, VITA (Europe) Ltd, Wales for Africa Fund of the Welsh Assembly Government, The Waterloo Foundation. Also the many beekeeping groups and individuals who support our work. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to help.

Bees/or Development Journal 91


Keywords: Africa, bee products, income generation, local-style hive, movable-frame hive, top-bar hive, Varroa recently became a member of BfD Trust. have kept bees in top-bar hives aS a commercial enterprise in central New Mexico State, USA for more than 25 years. The article Modern hives or modern ideas* |


expresses a concept that have thought about and taught for a while. had Langstroth frame hives, worked for a large-scale beekeeper (4,000+hives) and was a temporary honey bee inspector for the State of New Mexico Department of Agriculture. For a while my top-bar hives were experimental, hobby hives and my framed equipment was my main source of income. As the equipment aged and Varroa mites arrived, was confronted with a difficult year, with few bees alive, old worn-out equipment, minimal projected income for that year and three children to |



care for.


evaluated the cost of new frame equipment versus making

more top-bar hives and decided that would take the somewhat controversial step of selling my extractor to make money, building 60 or SO very inexpensive top-bar hives, collecting wild bees and doing bee !

removals from homes

nearby town, and trying a business based on ~_-bar hives. already had a reputation for not using antibiotics, comb _,@llents and comb-fumigants (to protect supers from wax moths). in a


have taught many students over the last 20 years, and have seen people with many different expectations. It seems to me that those that started with big plans and high economic hopes were the ones who quit the |

soonest after the work, a few stings and a slow market (that they had not taken the time to develop), that did not meet their hopes quickly enough. One has to have some joy of working with bees and seeing the beauty in the essence of flowers being distilled by these ingenious little creatures, and be willing to let things grow slowly. The market will grow, and good

honey and beeswax are greatly appreciated by many people around the world - so it does not take long. Extra wax can be sold to herbalists to make lip balms and salves, candles and ornaments. Another reason for using top-bar hives is the ease and low-cost of renewing the brood combs. As a teenager used to take on |

jobs removing bees from hollow spaces in buildings and noticed that bees building comb in their own way often eventually abandoned the older, black, thick-walled, cocoon-filled combs and let the wax moths eat them. The bees would then slowly remove the wax moth debris and build new comb in the space. Urban renewal. Also here in the USA older

combs have been found to absorb high levels of oil-soluble insecticides. Comb renewal is important. The investment of a small portion of the profits, 5-10%, to buy more boards or even a smoker is a discipline that makes the business thrive and expand.

Leslie Crowder, Dixon, USA.

Abraham Allotey recommends the following for successful commercialisation of sustainable apiculture in the tropics:

found that the top-bar hive is superior to the frame hive in many ways, mainly in that it helps me make money. Honey production is a little less


(20-25%): however beeswax production is much higher



at 600%. There

breeding and bee multiplication

are no supers to store and protect, the bees build their own varied cellsized combs, and with care in selecting brood-free combs to harvest and

crush, we have an excellent and dedicated customer base in the Santa Fe grower's market for our delicious, natural honey. The down side of top-bar beekeeping is that my wife and want movable-combs and we manage the 200 hives so that the bees build the combs straight on the top-bars. This keeps the hive legal in New Mexico and also makes looking through


Using the health benefits of bee products (honey, propolis) as a tool for marketing honey and other bee products. Also the promotion of local or indigenous knowledge uses of bee products for medicine, food products and food preservation as a marketing tool


help. We take our bees to California to pollinate organic almonds, raise queen bees, sell bottled and comb honey and beeswax, and have taught beekeeping for more than 20 years.

Building the capacities of bee farmers to innovate ways of constructing hives using easily available and cheap local inputs at the village level - am coming up with a combination of wood and basket hives which use less wood |


the bees and harvesting honey quick and easy, My wife and are able to make a good living and take care of our little farm and bees without hired

Provision of practical education and simple techniques for queen



Provision of follow-up bee extension services by governmental and non- governmental agencies. Mostly after beekeeping training programmes there is no follow-up through a year’s production cycle to ensure beekeepers are operating efficiently

The key fo our success is in market development and slow growth with the local market. Get a few hives going inexpensively and start selling a little honey. If the quality is what the customer wants you can slowly


Beekeepers should be also plant growers to provide pollen and nectar throughout the year

Jand the number of hives with a portion of the return. The customer


Fire belt establishment around hive investments should be encouraged, as well as provision of security for the investment.

var also be educated about the damage caused to honey and its enzymes by heat, the benefits of some pollen in honey, and beekeepers should know the dangers of brood, protein or water in honey. At some point you may find that, like us, you have 200 or 300 hives, and more market than


you can supply. teach people to keep bees and some of them can help supply the market needs. agree with your concept that beekeeping |





be enough hands-on training with populated hives so that new beekeepers can confidently open a hive and harvest honey. In my in the

bee-yard and only



Modem hives or modern ideas?: by Janet Lowore and Ni cola B ' published in BfDJ 90, March 2009. Now available on the BFD


Information Portal.




Abraham Allotey (right) is Customer Services Officer for the Ghana Forest Commission stationed at Amasaman District, Accra a


beekeeping classes we spend most of the time 25% in a classroom.



should be done with small inputs and good market development. Beekeeping needs to make the beekeeper some money relatively quickly. We cover the cost of our hives with 3-4 kg of honey. The hive should make a profit in the first year and for a good many years. There needs to

Bees/ov Development Journal 91

CONTROLLING AMERICAN FOULBROOD WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS Cliff Van Eaton, Apiculture Consultant, Tauranga, New Zealand Keywords: antibiotic residues, honey, disease control, hive quarantine, New Zealand, Paenibacillus larvae In most parts of the world, antibiotics have been the recommended treatment for the control of American foulbrood for at least the last half

century. They have been accepted readily by many beekeepers, probably because antibiotics have been seen as a quick and easy


solution to one of the most economically significant bee diseases.


The problem Administering antibiotics to bees is the same as giving them to other animals. If they are prescribed by a professional who first makes a competent diagnosis, and then applied according to label recommendation, symptoms of the disease are likely to be significantly reduced, if not altogether ‘cured’. If, however, they are administered routinely, and especially at a dose that does not kill all the diseasecausing bacteria, eventually a strain of the bacteria will develop that is resistant to the antibiotic (we have seen this many times with diseases in humans). During the late 1990s a strain was detected of the bacteria that causes American foulbrood

(AFB), Paenibacillus larvae subsp

larvae (PL) that was resistant to oxytetracycline. At the same time, food safety scares in Europe, together with increased sophistication in analytical equipment, meant that government health authorities in Europe and the USA began to take increased interest in

Diseased brood is discoloured and sunken. wifi a distinctive smell

At this stage, the bacteria produce spores, and the vegetative stage dies. The new spores are picked up by nurse bees when they attempt to clean up the remains of the dead larva. Thus the spores are spread around the hive during the constant exchange of food between all the adult bees in the hive. The cycle is finally complete when a nurse bee transfers the spores to another healthy young larva during feeding.

chemical residues in bee products. Beekeepers heard about the problems China experienced with Chloramphenicol in honey (see BfDJ 63), and now, honey and other bee products destined for human consumption are tested routinely for antibiotic residues.

PL spores are like tiny seeds. They have a very strong outer coat, and may remain viable hatch out into growing bacteria again for many years. However, they cannot hatch out again until they find their way back into the stomach of another young honey bee larva, because this is the only place in nature where PL can live. As it turns out, there must

Alternative treatment

be many spores in food that is always being transferred around the colony, and this food needs to be fed to a larva by a nurse bee, before

We now realise that using antibiotics to control AFB has become — problematic. The big question remains for beekeepers how do control this disease that can be so dangerous to my honey bees without |

the use of drugs?

New Zealand (NZ), with a beekeeping industry that is overwhelmingly commercial, and which produces the world-famous manuka honey, has

always had a legal ban on the feeding of antibiotics to honey bees. However - just because something is illegal does not mean it does not happen. Yet, over the years, extensive government inspections of NZ bee hives, as well as routine tests of NZ honey, confirm that beekeepers in NZ have not used the various antibiotics available to control AFB. There are a number of reasons for this, including strict control of such drugs by dispensing veterinarians. But perhaps the most important reason is simply that NZ beekeepers developed management practices that kept the number of AFB hives at low levels, and they did not see any gocd reason to change something that worked.

Understand the life cycle The NZ control system is based on an understanding of what causes a honey bee colony to develop visual symptoms of AFB, and how the disease spreads from hive to hive. PL is a spore forming bacteria, and it is the spores that cause an infection. The spores find their way into their host (a young larva) in the food provided by nurse bees. Once the spores have been ingested, they hatch and produce the vegetative (or growing) stage of the bacteria. The vegetative stage lives in the stomach of the young honey bee larva, and feeds on the larva until the larva dies.

there is a good chance for one or more of the spores to hatch.

So here is an important point - spores of PL are not particularly infective, and they need to be in high concentrations (at least 50 million/L) before a larva will become infected. Also for the infection to occur, the spores have to be in something that has a likelihood of

coming into direct contact with nurse bees, and through them, the larvae themselves. If we can accept these two important facts about PL, we can start to think differently about our beekeeping management. This is what NZ beekeepers have done. Their AFB control method is to car out management practices that lower the levels of PL spores in their hives.

Hazard analyses What are the materials we use in beekeeping that have a high risk of carrying large concentrations of PL spores in a form that will likely end up in the stomachs of young larvae? It will be obvious that combs with brood, honey and pollen can contain lots of spores. They are therefore always considered to be a high risk. House-cleaning bees, because they clean up dead larvae, and (possibly AFB infected ones), can have high numbers of spores, and because bees continually transfer food between each other, all the adult bees in the hive are high risk. Also bees constantly lick the insides of the hive, so supers, lids and floorboards

could have lots of spores, and are therefore high risk. honey is removed from a hive that has AFB the honey itself may have lots of spores. If this honey is extracted and does not come into contact again with nurse bees, it is low risk. However, the ‘wet’ frames (frames If

Bees/or Development Journal 91


after honey extraction), which still have residual honey, could contain spores in a form that could be fed to nurse bees, and then to larvae. NZ

experience suggests that ‘wet’ frames should always be considered high risk.

Bees drifting between hives could carry spores in their honey stomachs, but there is not usually, naturally, major transfer of bees between hives. Studies conducted in NZ have shown that drifting bees from an AFB hive have quite a low risk of spreading the disease to other hives.



Beekeeping books tell us that it is very important to sterilise our hive tools and gloves, but when you look at these materials from a hazard point of view, you see that they represent a low risk of transferring large numbers of spores in a form attractive to nurse bees. The same can be said for the earth in front of hives.

colonies were traditionally blamed as a source of AFB. studies were conducted that tested bees from feral colonies in However, NZ for the presence of PL spores. The results showed that very few such colonies had spores: so few in fact that feral colonies were at much


in NZ, feral

greater risk of getting AFB from managed colonies than the other way around.

Finally, there is the problem of robbing bees. This can certainly be a risk when the hive being robbed is seriously depleted of adult bees because so many larvae are killed by AFB. In that case, there are large numbers of spores in the honey, which is taken back in large amounts to the other hive, where it is probably fed to nurse bees and young larvae. It is therefore important to periodically inspect hives for AFB,

not to allow any to get so weak that they become a source of iection to other hives. |

Good practice When you look at the list of hazards and what are the most infective sources of PL spores, a truth emerges that is sometimes very difficult for beekeepers to accept: AFB may be a disease of honey bees, but it is almost always spread as a result of the actions (or inactions) of

beekeepers. The good news is that since that is the case, if we change what we do with beekeeping materials that are at risk of containing high

concentrations of spores, over time we should be able to reduce the spore concentrations in all the hives of our apiaries. As the spore levels go down, the number of colonies that will become infected with AFB will also go down. The major skill that must be learned is the ability to identify the visual symptoms of AFB, and, as important, be able to tell those symptoms apart from the symptoms of various other brood diseases and

abnormalities that may be present. There are many books that provide good descriptions and photographs of these brood diseases. Most portant is to be able to tell the symptoms of AFB from those caused

Roping. sticky larval remains can be drawn out with a twig or matchstick

inspection on the day of removal. If this is the case the supers should be marked to identify them with the hive and apiary of origin, and an inspection carried out as scon as possible.

Quarantine Inspection is the means of identifying the disease. Quarantine is the way to control how colonies are treated so they do not become a source of spores to others.

The first type is apiary quarantine, where nothing is moved between apiaries. In NZ this is used routinely every year, starting at the end of the honey season and continuing until full inspections have been completed at the beginning of the next season. This ensures that no

hives containing high numbers of spores are moved to any other apiaries during the time when inspections are not usually carried out. The second type is hive quarantine, where nothing is moved between hives. This is used whenever AFB is found. No bees or brood are taken away from any of the hives, and nothing is moved to any other apiary. If honey supers are removed, the honey is extracted, and the frames are kept together in the super. The super is marked to identify it to the hive, and it is not placed on any other hive. Hive quarantine continues for 18 months after the last AFB hive was found in the apiary.

Burning When an AFB hive is found, it is immediately dealt with to ensure there is no chance of the large number of spores it has produced coming into contact with other hives. This is the thing that beekeepers who have used antibiotics find most difficult to accept: to make sure spores are not transferred, the bees in the hive have to be killed (usually

uy Sacbrood. Everything am describing here by way of management techniques to control AFB are extremely ‘low-tech’. However, there is one ‘medium-tech’ item that can be added to assist in AFB diagnosis, and that is the use of microscope to visually identify AFB spores in diseased larvae. The technique is quite straightforward, but is generally |


only suitable for beekeeping co-operatives or government veterinary laboratories. Once you know how to visually identify the symptoms of AFB, the key is to be diligent in inspecting your hives. In NZ, an inspection of all brood frames in every hive is carried out at least twice a year, at the beginning and end of the beekeeping season. Whenever a beekeeper wants to move anything (combs, supers, etc) from one hive to another, each hive

is given a brood inspection. This is also true at the time honey is removed from the hive, especially if the honey is being removed as full and then the supers are supers, to be extracted away from the apiary, in a different apiary to be filled again, either hives to returned possibly immediately, or the following year. It may be difficult to carry out an

Eventually the larval remains dry out to form a ‘scale’ stuck to the side of the cell, and sometimes the extended proboscis can be seen. This is a classic sign of AFB.


with a small amount of petrol), and the contents of the hive (bees and brood frames) destroyed by fire.


Burning the hive contents ensures that nothing will be ‘eft that will be attractive to foraging bees from other hives. It also means that the beekeeper will not inadvertently put diseased materials into or on any


Inspect all brood frames for disease symptoms at least twice a year (beginning and end of the beekeeping season)


Inspect both hives whenever anything is moved from one hive to another


Inspect all hives in an apiary at the time honey is removed

other hives. Honey can be removed first, and extracted, provided that the honey does not come into contact with other frames. The extracted frames must then also be destroyed by burning.

Use apiary quarantine (nothing moved between apiaries) routinely every year, starting at the end of the honey season and continuing until full inspections have been completed at the beginning of the

Supers, bottom boards and lids are a major cost fo beekeepers in NZ, just as they are everywhere. Therefore NZ beekeepers have devised a sterilisation technique that has been proven to kill the very resistant PL spores, and at the same time help preserve the woodenware from

next beekeeping season

rotting. The technique involves immersing the woodenware in paraffin wax wax heated to 160°C for at least 10 minutes. At shorter times, or


Use hive quarantine (nothing moved between hives) in an apiary whenever AFB is found in a hive, continuing until 18 months after the last AFB hive has been found in the apiary


Destroy by burning all honey bee colonies (bees, brood and associated frames) showing visual symptoms of AFB

lower temperatures, it has been found that not all PL spores will be



How effective is the NZ system?

Sterilise retained woodenware from AFB hives by immersion paraffin wax at 160°C for at least 10 minutes.


NZ has had an organised bee disease control programme and kept detailed records for many years. By law, beekeepers are required to report all cases of AFB. They also make an annual declaration of apiary


locations and hive numbers. Statistics show that the annual incidence of AFB in NZ is less than 0.3% per annum. This is extremely low by world standards, especially since most countries do not have good information on AFB rates or even hive numbers. AFB control in NZ is supported by a national programme funded by beekeeper levies, and managed on behalf of the National Beekeepers Association by a stateowned agricultural services enterprise. Apiary inspections are carried out by employees of the enterprise. These inspections have always


confirmed the low incidence of AFB reported by beekeepers.

Some understanding of AFB incidence, and the overall level of PL spores circulating within a country’s bee hives, can be also judged by analysing retail samples of honey. In a random survey of 45 samples of NZ retail honey in 2007, no spores of PL were found. This compares to studies elsewhere in the world where up to 56% of samples were


3 Mert



found to contain spores.




Further reading The spread anc control of American foulbrood B/D Journal 76 GOODWIN,M; VAN EATON,C. (1999) Elimination of American foulbrood Information portal on the


Case study

years, and in each of the last 10 years. Significantly, this low level of AFB incidence was achieved in a large-scale, migratory beekeeping enterprise consisting of 7,000 hives. A considerable number of the

enterprise's hives are placed each year in apple and kiwifruit orchards for pollination, in close proximity to other hives belonging to a range of other beekeepers and therefore potential sources of AFB infection. The enterprise also migrates all of its hives to at least two honey flows. In the last four years of the study shown on the graph, the enterprise did not record a single case of AFB.


0.8% 0.7%

% of hives infected

woodenware sterilisation, the enterprise managed to operate within the internationally accepted veterinary standard for ‘disease freedom’ (0.2% of animals/hives per herd/enterprise per annum) in 27 of the 35



A commercial beekeeping enterprise in the Hawkes Bay Region, NZ collected AFB incidence figures over 35 years. Two significant outbreaks of AFB were recorded during that time. The first, beginning in 1973, and the second in 1989. Both were associated with the Nevertheless, using only hive inspections, hive and apiary quarantines, destruction of AFB infected colonies and hive


When an AFB colony is found in New Zealand. bees and brood frames are destroyed by fire

BfD website

purchase of honey supers from other beekeepers.



0.6% 0.5%


0.4% 0.3%




0.2% 0.1% 0.0%



Disease Freedom





2 2 3 3

Incidence of AFB in a 7,000 hive enterprise in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand Note: The internationally accepted veterinary standard for disease freedom is 0.2% of animals per herd per annum



AMERICAN FOULBROOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Keywords: Cape honey bee, disease control, hive quarantine, South Africa

Despite strict controls, non-irradiated honey or honey bee products found a way into South Africa. On 25 February 2009 the

Agricultural Research Council Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC-PPRI) confirmed an outbreak of American foulbrood (AFB) in certain Western Cape honey bee colonies. Mike Allsopp, Head of the Honey Bee Research Section of the ARC-PPRI, became aware of the

disease is to burn the entire hive and contents and bury the ashes - infected apiaries could face standstill orders of up to 18 months and will need help and compensation to ensure

their continued viability and co-operation.

Allsopp said commercial beekeepers are more likely to comply with rigorous elimination of infected hives, but smaller hobbyists may be reluctant to report outbreaks and the issue could go underground. The solution will

depend largely on the action of beekeepers and If ali beekeepers adhere to DoA advice

disease when a local beekeeper experienced problems with unhealthy colonies. The disease

the DoA.

was first thought to be European foulbrood, which affected Western Cape apiaries in 2008,

quarantined and destroyed, they couid prevent its spread and a permanent battle. The disease could destroy thousands of colonies, lead to

but atypical samples were sent to PPRI’s laboratory in Pretoria anc tested positive for

until the disease has been effectively

poor pollination of crops and orchards, and ruin



dohn Moodie, the South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO) Chairperson, said that

As South African bees are classified under

four beekeeping operations in the Western Cape had confirmed AFB in their colonies. The extent


infestation is still unknown as the

_ Iptoms are slow to appear and further Surveys are needed. The Department of

Agriculture (DoA) urged all beekeepers to act with extreme caution, keep colonies and apiaries apart, not to move honey bees from

‘plant health’ there is need to amend current legislation to allow for containment of the

disease. The DoA has established a management team and initiated an interim plan which could see infected apiaries issued with an initial standstill period of up to three months. “The outbreak is being reported to the World

apiary to apiary, and to treat all beekeeping equipment as contaminated. Although the four

approval”, said DoA spokesperson Priscilla Tsotso Sehoole.

contaminated apiaries are co-operating with authorities - the only way to eradicate the

Haylee Robbins, Farming UK More information

USA SURVEYS HONEY BEE LOSSES Keywords: CCD, disease control, pollination Honey bee colony losses across the USA were

sudden, complete absence of honey bees in a colony. The cause of CCD is still unknown.

approximately 29% from all causes from September 2008 to April 2009, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of

As this was an interview-based survey, if is not possible to differentiate between verifiable cases of CCD and colonies lost as the result of other causes that share the ‘absence of dead bees’ as a symptom. However, among beekeepers that reported any colonies

America (AIA) and the US Department of riculture (USDA). This is less than the overall iusses of about 36% from 2007 to 2008, and

32% from 2006 to 2007, that were reported in similar Surveys.

“While the reduction in colony losses is encouraging, this magnitude of loss is economically unsustainable for commercial beekeeping,” said Jeff Pettis, research leader of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, the USDA's principal scientific research agency. The survey was conducted by Jeff Pettis, Dennis van Engelsdorp, AIA President, and Jerry Hayes,

AIA past President. About 26% of apiaries surveyed reported that some of their colonies died of colony collapse disorder (CCD), down from 36% 2007-2008. CCD is characterised by the

of apiaries in


Organisation for Animal Health and draft regulations have been forwarded for ministerial

collapsing without the presence of dead bees, each lost an average of 32% of their colonies in 2008-2009, while apiaries that did not lose any bees with symptoms of CCD lost an average 26% of their colonies. To strengthen the beekeeping industry, ARS recently began a five-year, area wide research

programme to improve honey bee health, survivorship and pollination. Honey bee

pollination is critical to agriculture, adding more than US$15 (€1) billion to the value of

American crops each year. The survey covered approximately 20% of the USA’s 2.3 million


Kim Kaplan, ARS News Service (View this report plus photos at 7

approximate weights

Do your bees make propolis? We would like to test it and possibly buy it from you... A major research project has been started by BeeVital and we would like your help. If you are interested in finding out whether your propolis is suitable for medicinal use and learning about sustainable ways of harvesting & using propolis please send a sample (50g) to:

BeeVital, Brereton Lodge, Goathland, Whitby, North Yorkshire Y022 5JR, UK Tel: Fax:

+44 (0)1947 896037 +44 (0)1947 896482


Bees/o; Development Journal 91




BOOSTING CASHEW PRODUCTION IN GHANA S Aidoo, Department of Entomology & Wildlife, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana Kwame

Keywords: Africa, Apis mellifera, biological contro! agent, pollinator, Solitary bee, stingless bee Investigation of the genetic composition of cashew trees and their pollinators in Ghana reveated the country to have productive advantage over other cashew growing countries of the world. When Kwame Aicoo presented his PhD thesis to a panel of academics of the University of Cape Coast, he challenged the National Cashew Project and other organisations to extend their research findings to farmers. An extension

package consisting of high yielding planting material with multiple genetic composition, good cultural practices that improve pollinator presence in orchards, and the use of red ants Oecophylla longinoda as biological control agents of pests, will further improve cashew production. The study revealed that high yielding trees with multiple

genetic compositions are present in many orchards in Ghana, and these should be selected and developed as seed resources for farmers.

Growing conditions The climatic conditions and soil characteristics of the cashew areas of Ghana are good. Rainfall is the most important climatic factor for

cashew crop productivity and total annual rainfall in all major growing areas in Ghana are ideal. The long dry season from November to April gives the cashew crop the right conditions for flower initiation and fruit development.

Pollinators of the cashew tree The honey bee Apis mellifera has been described by many pollination biologists as the most effective pollinator of cashew (Free & Williams,

1976; Heard ef a/, 1990). This study showed that honey bee workers infrequently foraged on cashew flowers, but when they did, they spent a relatively short time collecting only nectar. On any hermaphrodite flower there was a 50 50 chance of the honey bee worker effecting pollination. This suggests that Apis meliifera is not the most effective pollinator of cashew orchards in Ghana as found in other cashew growing areas of the world. The study identified two stingless bees: :

Kwame Aidoo, BID's Correspondent in Ghana. Is an expert Peexeduer dlat tanner

Dactylurina staudingeri and Liotrigona parvula and seven solitary bee Brausapis sp, Ceratina sp, Compsomelissa sp, Halictus sp, Lasioglossum sp, Lipotriches sp and Thyreaus sp whose foraging activities indicated their effectiveness in the pollination of cashew. These two groups of bees are known to be heavy feeders of pollen, were found to be persistent foragers, and exhibited behavioural characteristics which demonstrated their strong affinity for cashew flowers. The cashew plant's ability to produce large amounts of pollen is probably to attract pollen rather than nectar foragers. These bees therefore are the effective pollinators of cashew flowers in Ghana. The abundance and diversity of the right pollinators in the cashew agroecosystem gives Ghana a comparative advantage over other growing

countries. The presence of various forms of natural landscapes provided good sanctuaries for pollinating bees and other beneficial insects. Studies in Brazil recorded only two bees Apis melfifera and Chrysogaster tarsaia as effective pollinators of cashew flowers (Freitas et al, 2002). Heard et a/ (1990) found Apis mellifera as the only bee pollinating cashew efficiently in northern Australia. Seven bee species effectively pollinate cashew trees in Ghana. Their pollinating activities were supplemented by Apis mellifera and occasional flower visitors such as ants, butterflies, sun birds and wasps.

Pests and cashew production Investigations into the performance of cashew farms revealed that in some areas, most farms had been abandoned. Some farmers had felled their cashew trees for fuel wood and were instead cultivating food crops. In Mfantsiman District, 55 out of a total of 60 farmers had abandoned their orchards. In Komenda District 115 farmers established about 93 ha of cashew and in Gomoa District, 350 farmers developed about 324 ha farms. It is estimated that 90% of these farms have been abandoned. Farmers attributed their actions to the fact that cashew nut yields on their farms were so poor that they were not making economic gain.

These low yields are due to uncontrolled activities of insect pests, the major ones being Anoplocnemis curvipes, Helopeltis schouteden and

Farmers picking cashew nuts

Pseudotheraptus devastans. The feeding activities of these cashew bugs had serious effects on productivity. Young shoots which otherwise would have produced flower panicles die back, fruits at varying stages



Casher lites -

2 cael)


grows di ihe Nase ut ine cashew apple

of development drop off, and nut yields become low. Other insect pests such as the cashew stem borer beetle Apate tefebrans and the branch

girdler Analeptes trifaciata were active on some farms.

Oecophylia longinoda was identified as a potent natural control agent for many insect pests in cashew plantations. The introduction and establishment of colonies of Oecophylia longinoda on farms in Brong Ahafo is helping to deal with cashew pest problems. Farmers did not

chemical pesticides but their orchards were comparatively healthier aid produced higher nut yields. The cost of orchard management with Oecophylla longinoda was lower and net returns high.

Be@S ellfey


Bees/o Development Journal 91


303 kg per hectare was recorded in the northern region. Even this figure was higher than Brazil's national average of 192 kg per hectare (Freitas & Paxton, 1998). Good cultural practices, especially with respect to pest control in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo, coupled with relatively better

ecological conditions contributed to these higher yields.

Recommendations It

is recommended that cashew farmers and/or researchers should:




Yields Nut yields of 1,250 kg per hectare were recorded in plantations of Ejura Farms Company in Ashanti. This was higher than the world’s top yield of 1,000 kg per hectare (Kannan, 2002). The lowest average yield of

APITRADE AFRICA LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE Bosco Okello, CEO, ApiTrade Africa, Kampala, Uganda Keywords: Africa, bee products, fair trade, honey trade

Following a successful year in 2008, our gates are more widely open to African honey processors, buyers and exporters looking for African honey. Demand is rising for African honey in the export and domestic markets: the increased desire by private sector to work within a regional framework through ApiTrade Africa, and the growing need by middle-income earners to invest in the honey value chain, have impressed upon us the need for action. is evident that market is the engine for increasing production ie when farmers can sell their products they have incentive to produce. It

Understand the importance of Qecophylla fonginoda in management of pests on cashew farms.

Explore the production of high premium organic cashew for the world market by using Oecophylla longinoda for pest control.

Editors’ note: References cited with the article are on the BFD Website Information Portal under Pollination

There is need to stimulate more investments in the sector at different

levels of the value chain. Service providers, government and development agencies should develop a system that provides reliable information to prospective pro-African investors. Already there is a lot of expertise among service providers in Africa to support strategic investments in the sector, however there is no

platform to make this happen. For instance, several service providers who attended the ApiExpo Africa 2008 cannot sustainably reach out to prospective investors since there is no existing system to facilitate the process. Investors need also to have the right

information in terms of business opportunities, investment risk analysis, economic analysis and appropriate technology.

Under the Market and Investment Promotion of Apiculture in Africa (MARIPAA) Programme, a number of market development activities

will be undertaken in 2009, including match-making between exporters and importers, supporting fair-trade and organic production

projects and promoting regional co-operative bulking systems. Similarly, in collaboration with partners, for example, Uganda Investment Authority, SNV-Netherlands, and the private sector, investment promotional channels are being established. These

information is difficult and expensive to access.

include the establishment of Business Clinics where investors meet specialised consultants to mentor them and turn their honey-related business ideas into viable projects. The first Business Clinic opened on 20 Apri! 2009 at ApiTrade Africa offices in Kampala.

Often, demand for honey exceeds supply because beekeeping in Africa is dominated by small-holder subsistence arrangements.

Therefore, improving the market chain through appropriate information provision will go a long way to promote trade in bee products in the region and beyond. This is more so for Africa where

For more information about this initiative and its impact visit

Bees/or Development Journal 91


instead decided to offer the materials free of



charge in a manual on my blog:

Konar Province a US Provincial

Reconstruction Team (PRT) and the Afghan Government are implementing beekeeping as a solution to help feed its people. The

www.oscarperone. (Note ihe text has been translated into many different languages by software translation)

Department of Agriculture has a number of hives throughout Konar Valley, and plans to

BURUNDI Twenty seven members of Gahosha Association attended a beekeeping workshop

expand by multiplying bee colonies, building more hives and distributing them among

held at Gahosha in February. Here the

available for the Afghan people to trade and barter. Honey is especially valuable in this environment because it is one of the few agricultural products that does not need


My name is Oscar Perone Ozanan and live in Buenos Aires. have been keeping bees since was young. became a professional |



beekeeper in 2002 and have taught

beekeeping. In 2004, trying to escape Roundup and the environmental devastation as a consequence of soybean farming, we moved all of our hives to Pirané and Monte

refrigerated storage. Honey can be consumed,

Lindo in Formosa Province in the tropical region of Argentina, where we still have them.

sold, or exported to nearby provinces. Beeswax is also a valuable commercial

The ranch has 1,000 hives, is organically certified, and is one of the largest beekeeping

of a candles, commodity and component cosmetics, polishes and pharmaceuticals. Afghan beekeepers hope to eventually export their products.

operations in the north of Argentina. Over the years developed a new technique called

Release Number 20082712-03

participants are comparing local-style with top-bar hives.


PRT and the US Department of Agriculture, the Afghan Government distributed 170 kg of sugar to local beekeepers to feed their bees and help increase the bee population. Crop yields in the immediate area are anticipated to increase by 10% or more. Bee products are


more farmers. With assistance from Konar

. Gerard Nduwayo, Anglican Church of Buru Makamba


Extensive Organic Beekeeping that is especially for the care of African honey bees, although it works well also with European |

planned to publish a book, but

In March 2009 the University of Zagreb and Croatian Beekeepers’ Association signed an agreement to found a beekeeping centre and LAURA MARTELLICAMBODIA

honey dees.


CAMBODIA WWF hopes that honey could provide


sustainable livelihood for Mondulkiri



Province's Phnong minority. Honey from wild bees in the protected areas of Mondulkiri has the potential to attract both national and international customers, and with prices rising and with training and marketing knowledge, the Phnong are well situated to take advantage. “This year, the price of wild honey in the local market has doubled compared to

last year, selling at 20,000 riels (US$4.88; €3.49) per litre,” said Seng Teak, Country

Director for WWF.

Even though the Phnong in Mondulkiri's Krang Teh and Pou Chrey communes already collect

more than 1,000 litres of wild honey a year, Seng Teak says it still does not come close to

meeting demand. "Therefore the Phnong will set up bee farms in their community forests to increase the amount of wild honey collected,” he said. For Mondulkiri honey to succeed internationally, it needs to maintain a

consistent standard that differentiates



other honey products in the region.

Femy Pinto, Country Facilitator for the Non-Timber Forest Product-Exchange Program (NTFP-EP), said that Mondulkiri honey can

A Bunong honey hunter begins


international standards, while maintaining the

achieve a competitive advantage if it is a sustainably harvested, quality product. With financial support from WWF, NTFP-EP has been training Phnong in two communes to

close relationship between people, forests and NTFPs.

collect honey hygienically and package to

Khouth Sophakchakrya, Phnom Penh Post


agronomists, beekeepers, biologists and veterinarians. Beekeeping schools for beginners, professionals and school children will also be arranged. The centre will

KENYA Kenya Enterprise Microfund Organization (MEKO) provided two days training on Honey harvesting, processing and packaging for Nyarongi Jirano Group in January. wish to thank BFD for their support providing us with a Resource Box of training materials (see page 16). |

Malachi Otieno. MEKO, Nairobi

produce, brand and sell traditional Croatian


Source: Croatian Times

ETHIOPIA Tadesse Gezahegne writes: Beekeepers usually keep bait hives or occupied hives on the branches of trees.

was surprised when saw hives hanging on a high tension power pole. found that all the hives were occupied by strong honey bee colonies. came to realise that bees will nest anywhere they find |






believe that nesting on power

equipment is uncommon elsewhere in the

world - am



NIGERIA Abia State reached a honey production peak of 307.5 litres in 2007 from 16 colonies located in seven apiaries. In 2008 the number of colonies increased to 21 and the harvest was 216 litres. Between November 2008 and April 2009, 99.6 litres of honey were harvested from 30 colonies. One reason for this poor harvest is harsh weather conditions with especially high temperatures and a decline in rainfall. Also, the devastation of bee trees such as Black Velvet and Dactyladenia barteri by army worms in October 2008. The demand for local honey Amachi Farms Ltd


continues to rise but the supply to meet it continues to fall. How do we deal with this growing trend?

Mike Ukattah, Amachi Farms Ltd, Abia State

ZAMBIA Seven years ago, beekeeping was not heard of in our District. With the intervention of a Government/IFAD sponsored programme The

Forest Resource Management Project the prospect of real income from beekeeping activities arose. Over 1,000 farmers were trained during 2002 to 2007 in beekeeping and sustainable utilisation of forest resources. From zero in 2000/2001, production of honey in the District jumped to over 1.5 tonnes in

2004/2005 season, and over 2 tonnes 2007. However, there have been many

Ethiopian hives hanging on a power pole


challenges along the way, for example rampant fires late in the dry season, and poor handling of bee products especially honey 11

resulting in compromised quality. As a result, Honey for Life was formed and registered as a

commercial entity dealing in bee products while championing issues related to environmental degradation in the light of the

escalating levels of deforestation. Honey for Life is involved in building capacity at local level in terms of beekeeping and income generating activities based on natural resources. Honey for Life has faced

challenges: for example in traditional practice it is believed that forest burning can take piace only late in the dry season to contro! wild vegetation, and this can be ordered only by traditional leadership, the chiefs and village headpersons. This is so entrenched that training farmers in early burning techniques to avoid fire damage to the natural

vegetation is almost meaningless. However Strides have been made by sensitising the traditional leadership to the importance of early burning. Other challenges concern

limited capacity in terms of resources and knowledge of natural resources. There is

growing complacency on the part of farmers trained through government programmes over the past two years, and the number of

practising beekeepers has fallen due to various factors. Honey for Life and other stakeholders are stepping up their efforts to ensure rural populations benefit economically from their own natural resources in their

localities, while ensuring sustainability.

Ernest Musonda, Luapula Province, Zambia


institute in Mrzlo Palje in Zumberak municipality. The centre's primary goal will be to help improve beekeeping. Experts from Zagreb University will assist in training



Bees/o; Development Journal 91


GRENADA 6th Caribbean Beekeeping Congress 7-13 November 2010

ARGENTINA APIMONDIA 42nd International Apicultural Congress 2011, Buenos Aires Dates and details witl appear here

Further details will appear here


Congresso Brasileiro

Evolution of plant-pollinator relationships 10-14 August 2009, Leiden

Further details

10th Congreso Iberolatinamericano de

SOUTH KOREA 10th Asian Apicultural Association Congress 2010 Further details

Apicultura 2010, Rio Grande do Norte Further details will appear here DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Vi Congreso Centroamericano y del Caribe 24-26 June 2009, Boca Chica Further details



UK 9th SICAMM Conference

The Dark Bee, our hope for the future 7-9 September 2009, Aviemore Further details

FRANCE APIMONDIA 41st International Apicultural Congress 15-20 September 2009, Montpellier Further delails If

Baraka College Courses Further details


XVIII Apicultura & IV Meliponicultura 9-22 May 2010, Cuiaba www.


Workshop on Conservation of Asian Honey bees 8-9 December 2009, Sarawak Further details


Further details


National Honey Show 29-31 October 2009, Weybridge Further details

you want notice of your conference, workshop or meeting to be included here and on our website send details to Bees for Development, address on page 16

10th ASIAN






FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, supports beekeeping projects in developing countries. Beekeepers’ groups and associations may apply for small project funding of up to US$10,000 from the TeleFood Special Fund. See and

inform BfD of the outcome of your application.

NETWORK SOLUTIONS is a platform for meeting, reading and exchanging market information and trading (semi-) fresh products including honey. offers a new market channel to producers and buyers, and to hereby improving transparency in the honey chain.

will take place in 2010 in Busan, South Korea

We also offer capacity building through e-Learning and in-country training on subjects such as e-Commerce and marketing. Contact

Hosted by


The Apicultural Society of Korea The Korean Beekeeping Association The Korean Apicultural

International Commission on Bee-Plant Relations ICBPR is alive and

well says Chairman Peter Kevan. He thanks all members and welcomes any one wishing to join. Visit

BEE CRAFT A full colour monthly magazine for beginners and experts covering all aspects of beekeeping in the UK and Ireland. 22 for 12 issues {one year). Credit cards accepted. For free sample copy and overseas rates contact

Co-operative More details available soon


ULUDAG BEE JOURNAL News, practical information and research articles Published quarterly in Turkish with English summaries. See



Bees/o; Development Journal 91



ear woe





P Temel etek Re &




Fligh Stancarel Proclucts Technologies Since 1973 :



Beemives Coml> Pouncletion





Sy a

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T.+ - F.4+90.212.324.53,22 -

Bees/ov Development Journal 91



Hor S/

Sara Robb



2009 122 pages 12

(€18) Code: R450

Sara Robb is an expert soap maker who has developed a thriving business in the UK based on toiletries - soap, bath bombs, bubble bath, creams and lip balms, made from her own recipes. In this new book she shares

By Dr Sara Robb

methods and recipes for making products containing honey and beeswax.

Everything is explained in a clear way. The scientific explanations and methods given are very well written, particularly concerning soap making, with useful appendices for calculating recipes correctly according to the oil being used. Not all ingredients will be available everywhere, but everyone will be able to source some of those listed.

The production of cosmetics and toiletries is one of the best ways for beekeepers and their families to add significant value to honey and beeswax. A new and excellent resource of recipes for modern, appealing products. Very highly recommended.


2009 138 pages


(€31.50) Code: W700

Everything that a beekeeper keeping Apis mellifera bees of European origin needs to know about rearing queens. Queen bee biology is clearly explained, as is queen rearing in frame hives, either with or without grafting (the transfer of larvae from normal brood cells into queen cell cups, using a grafting tool). Day-by-day instructions make the process clear and understandable. All necessary additional information is provided, such as bees’ ne~~ for good nutrition and how to capture and transport queens. Bee breeding is a complex field and the informati given here is the right amount to inform, yet not overwhelm, with methods given for defining selection criteria,

and implementing a programme. Instrumental insemination of bees is described: rationale, equipment and

methodology. Starting with the cover’s great picture of queen and workers, this clear text is well illustrated and provides a useful guide for beekeepers.


in Modern Wound

Berk oad



edited by Rose Cooper, Peter Molan and Richard White 2009 216 pages 29.95 (€45) Code: C900

This scholarly looking and written series of articles is welcome point of discussion for this subject. The medicinal and culinary uses of honey have been well known for millennia. There is much current debate about the anti-micro-organism properties of honey and this book provides current evidence to support these claims. a



by Rene






is noteworthy, as stated in this book, that there have been 16 randomised control trials, published in the past five years alone, showing that chronic wounds were healed after honey treatment. The book goes into a good amount

topics, from obvious like ‘Why honey works’ to more unknown ones like ‘Honey and radiotherapy damaged tissue’ make this book a comprehensive guide to honey and modern wound management. believe that the editors have got itri, and this book does, indeed, do as it says “on the tin”! of detail with each chapter having a comprehensive list of references. The diverse set of



Reviewed by Dr Ronald Pritchard

The Barefoot




2009 (3rd edition) 110 pages


(€19.50) Code C440

A refreshing new ‘ook at beekeeping in the 21st century, advocating simplicity in methods and making beekeeping accessible to everyone. The author proposes that by placing the needs of the honey bee colony first, and our own needs second, we can dispense with complicated and expensive equipment, and maintain healthy

bees with minimal use of chemicals and medicines. Not a rule book, the proposed approach is based on a set of — principles which broadly advocate allowing the bees to live as naturally as possible, with minimum interference even if this means less honey for the beekeeper. The horizontal top-bar hive is introduced with good explanations tow cost, low impact, natural llth cote) n ello

of how it works and also the benefits of allowing bees to make their own comb. The author does not

suggest we neglect bees: rather that we learn to listen to them. Extremely readable, the book is ideal for bee enthusiasts who aim to help conserve the honey bee, and harvest some honey as an added benefit. One fault, no page numbers! 14

Bees/or Development Journal 91




Specialist for beekeeping, honeyhouse and honey processing — worldwide.

19-20 SEPTEMBER MONTPELLIER, FRANCE Thousands of participants from the world of bees meet to discuss the challenges of apiculture at international level

A high-quality scientific programme focussed on the work of international researchers Activity areas and demonstrations in the heart of the ApiExpo exhibition

The Apimondia Standing Commission for Beekeeping for Rural Development will focus on problems of marketing

honey, and assisting beekeepers to work co-operatively.

AA |




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