African Beekeepers Teach Great Ways To Build Strong Bee ColoniesReading Time: 2 minutes, 59 seconds Post Views: 1115
Honey bees have been in danger for several decades but have managed to survive, all thanks to the continuous efforts of the beekeepers. But, when it comes to industry-style beekeeping, these practices are worsening the condition. Environment plays a vital role in the life of bees. Intensive agriculture, lack of nutrition, use of pesticides, violent atmospheric phenomena, sudden climatic changes, etc., are vital factors affecting these important pollinators' health. As a matter of fact, these conditions contribute to a large extent to the debilitating and depopulation of the bee colonies.
Colony collapse disorder, a disastrous condition that leads to a decrease in the Apis Mellifera population, was first reported in 2006. That year, about tens of millions of honey bees were killed due to this disease. To control the effects, many commercial apiaries are doing a chemical intervention. However, these chemicals and pathogens introduced by Varroa destructors increase the difficulties for the bees. Honey bees (Apis Mellifera) are highly vulnerable to Varroa mites because of their weak immunity and low ability to produce detoxification enzymes.
Surprisingly, the honey bee population is increasing at a far better rate in African countries. Do you know why? It's all because of the rooted indigenous knowledge and traditional beekeeping practices. As the continent is still stuck in the traditional beekeeping methods, the most minor bee diseases are occurring in that region. Above all, one such thing that has amazed everyone is the African continent's wild bee colonies. These colonies are not only helping honey bees to stay healthy but are providing genetic diversity so that honey bees can cope with the diseases.
Wild bees are like teachers for the honey bees, teaching them how to survive in different environments. This is because wild bees have a strong ability to shield themselves from the outer world, using propolis envelopes on the walls of their hives. This envelope is loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that protect all hive members, even those with weak immunity.
For African people, beekeeping is not about creating jobs; instead, it is about meeting community requirements and supplementing rural livelihoods. Africans have deep knowledge of the environment and possess hive-building solid skills. They not only practice traditional beekeeping methods but have a successful system of forest management.
They believe the hive plays an integral role in the health & wellbeing of the bee body. Thus, three important factors are always kept in mind while constructing bee hives.
1. Immune System
3. Moisture and humidity regulation
When the design requirements meet the above three points, the environment of the hive makes it easy for the bees to survive & thrive. Along with this, space requirements also play a significant role. Honey bees reproduce by swarming. They do this when the space they possess becomes stuffed, so hive space influences reproduction.
It proved that following traditional practices and without much human intervention, honey bees can survive the varroa and the unfavorable environmental and climatic conditions. This is where the thought came from a turnaround. Stand to the side, enjoy nature & indulge in it and become its custodians.
According to Mr. Basem Barry, founder & CEO of Geohoney, listening to wild honey bees and following an African beekeeping technique that exploits the advantages of natural selection, a system that applies to even small-scale beekeepers. Preventing toxic pesticides, keeping hives small & allowing bees to swarm are all required to prevent bee population decline. In addition, these methodologies might assist beekeepers with keeping hives that are less vulnerable to collapse and are more maintainable both financially and ecologically in the cutting-edge world.