March 2, 2007

Beekeepers discuss ways of reviving the industry

Close to 30 local Bee Keepers gathered at the Dumbarton Agricultural Station this week to initiate the process of bringing this country’s beekeeping industry back up to commercial production levels.

The Bee Keepers discussed and took part in practical sessions involving the following:

1. The preparation and introduction of a hive into an apiary.

2. The formation of a representative body for Bee Keepers (Bee Keepers Association){{more}}

This training comes in response to an ailing Apicultural Industry that was affected over 4 years ago by the loss of a large percentage of bee hives and the subsequent closing down of a number of apiaries throughout the state. This problem came about as a result of 2 pests, the Wax Moth and the Varroa Mite which attacked the bees, gradually killing entire colonies.

Corrective measures taken in 2006 have resulted in the rehabilitation of a number of these apiaries and shows promise for the production and availability of locally produced honey on the market.

In addition, there are plans to strengthen the colonies/hives with the introduction of Italian Bees, imported from other Caribbean countries. As such, the beekeepers have organized themselves into a body to represent their interests. At Tuesday’s meeting attempts were made to formalize this body into a Beekeepers Association with a mandate to further the developmental process within the local Honey Industry.

The seminar was held by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with support from the Agricultural Diversification Program Unit.