Beekeepers told to stop burning bees in forests

01Sep 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Beekeepers told to stop burning bees in forests

The Tanzania Beekeeping Development Organization (TABEDO) has mentioned climate change, poor production and markets as major factors hindering honey production in the country.

TABEDO Acting general secretary Josiah Mshuda told a meeting in Dodoma that the association’s aim was to create awareness and link its members with the government and non-governmental organizations.

The meeting which brought together members of TABEDO, private bee-breeders, bee-breeder groups, bee-keeping associations, cooperatives and the general public also aspired to share experiences regarding bee-keeping in the country.

The acting general secretary said linking the ministry through the Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) agency will enable bee-keepers have a better working environment to facilitate honey production.

He said bee-keeping activities are done in forests and therefore the forest department will play a crucial role in its development.

Through the forum, stakeholders in the sector would get solutions for problems they face, through exchanging ideas and experiences in the sector.

“We need to look also at climate change by realizing that we will not produce much if we burn forests, cut down trees,” he said.

He advised all stakeholders to join forces in the effort to fight against environmental degradation and pollution.

Philip Ndilahomba, an official from the bee keeping section of the forest department, represented the director of Forests in the ministry, Dr. Ezekiel Mwikanuke.

He said TFS is working with TABEDO and other cooperatives to ensure the bee-keeping industry reaches international levels and gets assured markets.

“We have a problem of markets for honey products in the country. This is caused by poor communication on where the product is produced and means of transport to reach its destination,” he said.

Mwikanuke advised bee-keepers to ensure they use modern beehives to enable them to enhance the quality of the product.

“We also need to ensure that we stop the setting of fire in forests as it kills bees and flowers crucial for the development of honey,” he pointed out.

“We have better and modern ways of separating honey from the beehive instead of burning insects. You can apply this mechanism which doesn’t affect bees,” he said.

Geofrey Joseph, a bee breeder from Ubunifu Finance Ltd in Mpanda, Katavi region said that the knowledge imparted will help them take on ways for improving bee-keeping and conserving the environment.

This will attract insects such as bees and push ahead this sector, although the market is still a big challenge, pointed out.

“Due to our geographical location we are failing to get markets for honey at the right time. In that case we are forced to sell honey to small buyers for little money which is a loss to us, making production poor from low use of inputs. We need more support from the government and other institutions to facilitate bee-keeping,” the beekeeper added.

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