English Ethiopian Apiculture

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Key numbers of apiculture - Ethiopia

Honey bee species and subspecies - Ethiopia

Non-Apis managed bees used for bee products - Ethiopia

Honey bee products and honey bee sector

Bees do not only produce honey, but also other very valuable products like beeswax, pollen, propolis, beebread or even bee brood can be considered as a "product". Within this chapter the following keywords are discussed: honey (production, honey market value chain), beeswax (statistics, use, …), pollen (statistics, use, …), propolis (statistics, use, …), import and export quotes of bee products, and the products’ prizes. While there exists a cryptic market for pollen and propolis in Indonesia, Ethiopia's beesector mainly focuses on honey and to some point on beeswax. Summarizing the data provided from FAO, Ethiopia can be regarded as a net exporter of honey (mostly to Europe), whereas Indonesia is a net importer (mostly from Asia). Prizes of bee products also differ greatly between target countries and even between regions.

Honey - Ethiopia

Honey market value chain - Ethiopia

Beeswax - Ethiopia

Pollen - Ethiopia

Propolis - Ethiopia

Royal Jelly - Ethiopia

Import/Export of honey bee products - Ethiopia

Prizes - Ethiopia

Bee forage - Ethiopia

The following chapter covers topics like local climate, number of melliferous plants and important literature, and major honey flows (plants, seasons). Nectar and pollen are key resources for honey bees and bees must be able to find sufficient quantity and quality within their foraging radii. The foraging radius depends on the bee race, the local climate as well as on the environment, but a benchmark of 3 km can be expected for European A. mellifera colonies. Not every blooming plant produces nectar AND pollen and they differ in terms of nectar and pollen production (protein content, quantity, quality and flowering time). In a consequence, a high diversity of bee forage around the apiary is from high importance for honey bee health and in a broader sense for the income of the beekeeper. The tropical climate of Ethiopia and Indonesia enables a high diversity in flora and fauna. While important literature on honey bee forage for Ethiopia exists and needs to be published for Indonesia, floral calendars for both countries are missing.

Climate - Ethiopia

Number of melliferous plants and important literature - Ethiopia

Major honey flows (plants, seasons) - Ethiopia

Flowering Calendar Ethiopia

Important crops and insect pollination


The chapter beekeeping deals with the following topics: honey bee species used for beekeeping, other types of gaining bee products including honey hunting and meliponiculture, hive types, bee hive manual of Deliverable 3.1 from Holeta Bee Research Center (Ethiopia), hive management (supplemental feeding, prevention of swarming, …), locally adapted hive management interventions (good beekeeping practice), biggest problems in beekeeping, status of migratory beekeeping, status of pollination business and beekeeping associations. Beekeeping or apiculture is the housing and maintaining of bees, mostly of the genus Apis, in hives. Not only the choice of the right honey bee race, but also the right hive-system and appropriate hive management contribute to successful and high profitable honey bee product yields. In this chapter honey bees that are used for beekeeping in the two target countries, as well as commonly used hive types and hive/colony management were assessed. In both target countries, the use of mostly traditional hive systems is common. In both countries the hive management plays a subordinate role, which means, that methods like supplementary feeding, requeening, swarm prevention or bee health management is not common in every region of the countries. Besides classical beekeeping, honey hunting and the use of stingless bees (meliponiculture) are widely practiced to gain bee products. The research results also indicated, that there is no nation-wide good beekeeping practice and no pollination business at all. There are few beekeeping associations and their structure differ from those of Europe. Constraints and problems regarding the beekeeping sector were also assessed resulting in a variety of problems, from lack of knowledge about bee biology to a lack of market or finance facilities.

Honey bee species used for beekeeping - Ethiopia

Other types of gaining bee products, including honey hunting and meliponiculture - Ethiopia

Hive types - Ethiopia

Bee Hive Manual

Hive Management - Ethiopia

Locally adapted hive management interventions (good beekeeping practice) - Ethiopia

Biggest problems in beekeeping - Ethiopia

Status of migratory beekeeping - Ethiopia

Status of pollination business - Ethiopia

Beekeeping associations - Ethiopia

Bee pathology

There are numerous pests, pathogens and predators which affect the health of honey bee colonies and further may cause economic loss. Therefore, it is important for beekeepers to know about existing threats and how to treat a possible infestation. In the following chapter, an assessment on honey bee health status, major pests and predators and local treatment methods was conducted. Summarized, there is a wide variety of pests a pathogens that affect honey bee health in Ethiopia and Indonesia. They range from viruses, protozoa, bacteria, fungi and insecta to mites and mammals. In general, the research indicated that beekeepers in both countries underestimate the risk of honey bee diseases and that treatment methods, that are commonly used in the western world are unknown in Ethiopia and Indonesia. It is necessary to work on education dissemination to enlarge the understanding of honey bee biology and further increase the income.

Honey bee health (Overview) - Ethiopia

Viruses - Ethiopia

Foulbrood - Ethiopia

Nosema - Ethiopia

Chalkbrood - Ethiopia

G. mellonella - Ethiopia

B. coeca - Ethiopia

Coleoptera - Ethiopia

Ants - Ethiopia

Varroa - Ethiopia

Tropilaelaps spp. - Ethiopia

A. woodi - Ethiopia

Others - Ethiopia

Dealing with honey bee health issues - Ethiopia

Treatments (if any) commonly applied to different pests - Ethiopia

Threats for introduction of new pests - Ethiopia

Education and dissemination - Ethiopia

Knowledge gaps - Ethiopia

Bee management and Bee health guide

Good beekeeping practice (GBP) affects the health and productivity of a bee colony. As GBP strongly depends on its regional and environmental surroundings, it is not possible to formulate global rules of GBP. Within chapter 4 “Bee management and bee health guide” a very basic guideline is given on the most important beekeeping activities. To guarantee methods that are practiced in tropical climate, most of the content within the following chapter was retrieved from the books "Beekeeping Manual for beginners" by Holeta Bee Research Center and the APIRE project and from "Advanced Beekeeping Manual by Ethiopian Beekeepers Association and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV-Ethiopia).

Apiary site selection

Beekeeping equipment

Bee colony transfer

External hive inspection

Internal hive inspection

Honey harvest

Beeswax harvest

Pollen harvest

Propolis harvest


Bee health management

10 Rules of Honeybee Management

Possibilities for smart bee management (Precision Beekeeping)

To assess the status of a honey bee colony, the beekeeper needs to visually inspect the inside of the hive. This procedure is time consuming and may stress the colony. The active monitoring and remote sensing by appropriate ICT solutions (Precision Beekeeping) may be a useful tool to support the management of honey bee health, colony development and even the bee productivity. One practice for Precision Beekeeping is the use of Decision Support Systems. Without sufficient data analysis it is not possible to get added value from different bee colony measurement systems. Decision Support System (DSS) can be adapted for the Precision Beekeeping for automatic data analysis and is considered as one of the sub-systems of the Precision Beekeeping. Using different algorithms and models, DSS can help the beekeepers to identify different bee colony states and warn about abnormal situation of the colony. Different bee colony states may have different levels of importance and can be identified with different levels of reliability. DSS can process and combine data related to the bee colony weight, temperature, sound etc. DSS decisions can be split into two groups: individual rules, which are based on single colony monitoring and differential rules, which are based on comparison of different colonies within one apiary.

Identify threshold values for honey harvest

Identify swarming events

Biological definitions

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