Bee farmers who are beneficiaries of ERuDeF’s technical assistance to improve the living standards of inhabitants of Magha in Wabane, Lebialem Division, Southwest Region, while promoting environmental protection and management, recently learnt techniques of harvesting honey.
On April 19-20, 2015, 12 out of the 15 active members of the bee farming group were trained during the third phase of the project, on how to harvest, extract and store honey as well as render bee wax.
Earlier on May 6-7, 2014, the farmers had received training under the watchful eyes of the Echinops giganteus/Access Benefit Sharing Project Coordinator, Kenmene Léa Alida.
During this phase, beekeeping materials were distributed to 15 identified beneficiaries, who also underwent field demonstration of material manipulation and installation of bee hives.
The second phase of the training, which took place on September 24-25, 2014, involved the elaboration of techniques to improve bee husbandry and bee health surveillance.
Meanwhile, at the third phase of the training, the bee farmers learnt the techniques of inspecting both closed and open bee hives, prior to honey harvesting; ways of identifying and harvesting mature bee combs, artisanal extraction and storage of honey, and ways of rendering bee wax from bee combs.
They also learnt how to identify and control diseases and pests that attack bees.
At the end of the training, the participants expressed gratitude and their determination to translate the themes treated in theory, in the field session where harvesting was done on two bee hives and three litres of honey extracted from 12 top bars bearing mature honey combs.
Some bees pests (small hives beetles and wax moth) were effectively identified in the field and the farmers went away vested with practical control measures.
Three methods for rendering bee wax were also demonstrated.
It was, however, not all hives of honey. It was recommended that studies should be carried out to identify honey market channels to facilitate sales, and a honey press should be allocated for the farmers.
The need for a modern bee wax extractor to improve on both the quality and quantity of wax produced was also cited, while more monitoring sessions should be allocated for these farmers so as to improve on production level.
In addition, assistance should be extended to other members of this community to fulfil the interest of many other persons wishing to carry out bee farming.
Lastly, seeds and planting materials for melliferous trees suitable for nectar production should be made available for the community to boost bees honey stores.
By Sheron Endah