Status of migratory beekeeping

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Ethiopia: There is almost no information available on migratory beekeeping in Ethiopia, but it is considerd as a rare practice. [1] It is known, that in a region called Gijjam, simple migratory beekeeping is practiced. It is done for additional income, instead of increasing pollination. Farmers close the traditional baskets with fresh cow dung and carry the hives on the shoulders to the selected fields. [2] A recent study describes the great potential of migratory beekeeping in Ethiopia by increased honey production and reduced feeding costs. Even though costs for migrating colonies increased slightly, the action is benefitting by an average netto income increase of 67.8%. [3]

Indonesia: There is a lack of nationwide data on migratory beekeeping in Indonesia, but in Java, migratory beekeeping is practiced with A. mellifera colonies, locally familiar as "mobile" beekeeping. Local habitants, stakeholders, landowners and official government representatives are owners of gardens, including their potential forage plants for honey bees. They often do not know about the benefits, and the role of the honey bee as a pollinator and therefore, the rejection of honey bees by the population is great. In addition to missing regulations on bee hive placement and extensive monocultures, mobile beekeeping evolved and today is still a common practice in Java. [4] One example of a migration schedule of A. mellifera in Java was given by a local scientist (Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia) who cooperated with the national State Forest Own Company (PERHUTANI): in May to July A. mellifera hives are placed in Central Java to forage on mostly kapok and randu, in August they are moved to Mt. Arca and Sukabumi to forage on calliandra, from September to October, beekeepers place their hives in Subang (rambutan forage), from November to April A. mellifera colonies are found in Cimangkok and Sukabumi to collect pollen of maize-plants. The detailed process of migrating, including the transport and handling of hives, is unknown.


  1. Kibebew, W. (in press). Investigating the effect of migratory beekeeping on honey production in East and west Shewa Zones of Oromia. (status: 11.06.2018).
  2. Fichtl, R., & Adi, A. (1994). Honeybee Flora of Ethiopia. Margraf Verlag Germany.
  3. Kumsa, T., Bareke, T. & Addi, A. (2020): Migratory Beekeeping as Strategy to Harvest Multiseason Honey in Ethiopia, Bee World, DOI: 10.1080/0005772X.2020.1812896
  4. Kahono, S., Chantawannakul, P., & Engel, M. S. (2018). Social Bees and the Current Status of Beekeeping in Indonesia. In book: Asian Beekeeping in the 21st Century. Springer, Singapore, 287-306.