Biggest problems in beekeeping

From SAMSwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The following assessment of constraints and problems may not be representative for the whole target country due to variability in local culture and conditions. In a consequence, regionally conducted scientific efforts may be contribute in the development of the whole country's beesector.

Ethiopia: Unsteady yield leads to unsteady income. Due to several factors like poor management of honey bee colonies and traditional production systems, the productivity and quality of bee products in Ethiopia is considered low. [1] The main problems are limited availability of bee forage (poisonous plants, seasonal availability, deforestation), water shortage (drought), the swarming behavior and absconding of honey bees, colony mortality, reduction of honey bee colonies, pests and predators (ants, honey badger, wax moths, Varroa...), absence or poor quality of beekeeping equipment/materials, indiscriminate use of pesticides and herbicides, the lack of storage and marketing facilities and, in general, a lack of know how. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] A study by Tesfaey & Tesfaye (2007) revealed that 98% of respondents, living in the mid rift valley region, never participated on any training in terms of beekeeping. Furthermore, beekeeping seems to be uninteresting for some of the surveyed people due to above-mentioned constraints and due to a combination of those factors. [7] Internal hive inspection seems to be totally unknown among many beekeepers, although they were visiting their hives for external inspection regularly. Most beekeepers do not know about the impact of supplementary food after honey harvesting season, nor about the importance of controlling swarming events (see: "Hive Management"-swarming prevention) of honey bees. [8] Conductors involved in the project ASPIRE, that assessed problems in business development, found out, that smallholder beekeepers especially suffer under a lack of credit/finance, a loose linkage of producer-processor market, low quality in honey bee products, supply chain problems for inputs, international market linkages and the capacity border of sector associations. [9] Pots, skins and fertilizer bags are often used for honey packaging, but they are not suitable for it, which results in a decrease of honey quality. The transport from rural to urban regions often takes place with the use of labor animals, due to a lack of infrastructure. [10] Approximately 95% of bee hives in Ethiopia are traditional bee hives, that are difficult to manage and of low productivity. [9] Traditional hives cannot be managed probably (no moveable frames) and this results in the damage of honey bee colonies during harvesting which causes severe population reduction. Traditional beekeeping with traditional hives (e.g. log hives) often contains the involvement of climbing high trees. Due to Ethiopian culture, climbing trees and therefore practicing forest beekeeping is not allowed for females. [11]

Indonesia: The poor quality of honey bee products is the major problem in Indonesia (>25% moisture, poor hygiene, diluting of honey with sugar syrup). [12] [13] In addition to a lack of know how on proper beekeeping, the honey bee product yield is low. [12] Most of the Indonesian beekeepers use A. cerana for beekeeping, but this honey bee species is known to be less productive than A. mellifera and to show increased absconding behavior. [14] Unfortunately, there is not as much information on beekeeping in Indonesia compared to Ethiopia, but it is considered, that some problems are very similar in both countries (absconding of honey bees, lack of knowledge about beekeeping practices, bee forage problems, lack of storage facilities, lack of infrastructure, lack of market facilities, and the use of pesticides). [12] [13] [15] [16]


  1. Beyene, T., Abi, D., Chalchissa, G., WoldaTsadik, M., (2016). Evaluation of transitional and modern hives for honey production in the Mid Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa, 64(1), 157–165.
  2. Gidey, Y., Bethelhem, K., Dawit, K., & Alem, M. (2012). Assessment of beekeeping practices in Asgede Tsimbla district, Northern Ethiopia: Absconding, bee forage and bee pests. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(1), 1-5.
  3. Gidey, Y., & Mekonen, T. (2010). Participatory Technology and Constraints Assessment to Improve the Livelihood of Beekeepers in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia. CNCS, 2(1), 76-92.
  4. Legesse, G. Y. (2014). Review of progress in Ethiopian honey production and marketing. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 26(1), 1-6.
  5. Sisay, F., Gebremedhin, G., & Awoke, K. (2015). Assessment of Beekeeping Practices (Absconding, Bee Forage and Bee Diseases and Pests) in Jigjiga Zone, Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. Poult Fish Wildl Sci, 3(135), 1-8.
  6. Yetimwork, G., Berhan, T., & Desalegn, B. (2015). Honeybee production trend, potential and constraints in Eastern Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, 6(1), 22-29.
  7. Tesfaye, K., & Tesfaye, L. (2007). Study of honey production system in Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha district in mid rift valley of Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 19(11), 1-9.
  8. Solomon, B. (2009). Indigenous knowledge and its relevance for sustainable beekeeping development: a case study in the Highlands of Southeast Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 21(11), 1-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Negash, B., & Greiling, J. (2017). Quality Focused Apiculture Sector Value Chain Development in Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology A, 7(2), 107-116.
  10. SNV/Ethiopia (2005). Strategic intervention plan on honey & beeswax value-chains, snv support to business organizations and their access to markets (boam).
  11. Awraris, G. S., Yemisrach, G., Dejen, A., Nuru, A., Gebeyehu, G., & Workneh, A. (2012). Honey production systems (Apis mellifera L.) in Kaffa, Sheka and Bench-Maji zones of Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, 4(19), 528-541.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Amir, A., & Pengembangan, Y., U. M. (2002) Forest-Dependent Community Development Through Apis Cerana Beekeeping Programm. Apiacata, 4, 1-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Crane, E. (1990). Bees and beekeeping: science, practice, and world resources. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Pub. Associates.
  14. Oldroyd, B. P., & Nanork, P. (2009). Conservation of Asian honey bees. Apidologie, 40(3), 296–312.
  15. Peluso, N. L. (1992). Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java. Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford, University of California Press.
  16. Akratanakul, P. (1987). Beekeeping in Asia. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin, 68(4).