1 Beekeeping in the Tropics Dr. Peter Rosenkranz University of Hohenheim Apicultural State Institute
2 Content 1. What are Bees? 2. Social Evolution in Bees : From Solitary to Eusociality 3. Economic value of bees 4. Pollination/ use of non-apis bees 5. Honey bee species of economic importance 6. Specific traits of tropical honey bees 7. Honey hunting 8. Requirements for advanced Beekeeping Techniques 9. Specific problems of tropical beekeeping The Cape bee problem in South Africa Plant protection Honey bee diseases 10. Economic aspects Honey quality Marketing Rural development
3 Systematic of Bees Class Insecta Order Hymenoptera Aculeata Family Apidae Stingless bees (Melipona spec.) Bumble bees (Bombus spec.) Honey bees (Apis spec.) Worldwide about Bee species In Germany about 600 Bee species (most of them solitary) In Brazil about Bee species! Tropics: higher biodiversity Biologie der Honigbienen
4 Pecularities of Bees Use of Pollen and nectar for nutrition Visiting plants during foraging Social communities Biologie der Honigbienen
5 Social Community and Evolution Darwin s enigma... I will confine myself to one special difficulty which at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to the whole theory (of evolution). I allude to the neuters or sterile females in insect communities In other words: How can sterile females be explained within the framework of an evolutionary theory based on survival of the fittest? C. Darwin, 1859
6 Darwin s enigma This difficulty (of sterile workers), though appearing insuperable, is lessened, or, as I believe, disappears, when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family, as well as to the individual, and may thus gain the desired end C. Darwin, 1859
7 Social Evolution Solitary Eusocial Communal Semisocial
8 Eusocial Bees Overlap of generations Division of labor Occurrence of castes (reproductive and worker castes)
9 Eusocial Bees Stingless bees in Africa, South America and Australia Honey bees in Africa and Asia Scaptotrigona spec. in Brazil Apis mellifera in Ethiopia
10 Social organization of a Honeybee colony Female castes: Queen and workers fertilized eggs, genetically identical Males: Drones derived from unfertilized eggs. Only task: mating with the queen.
11 Original and today's distribution of eusocial bees Honey bees Honey bees & Stingless bees Stingless bees Stingless bees
12 Economic value of bees Products provided by Bees Honey Wax Pollen Propolis Royal Jelly Bee venom Pollination
13 Economic value of bees Products provided by Bees Honey Wax Pollen Propolis Royal Jelly Bee venom Pollination
14 Economic value of bees Products provided by Bees Honey! Honey bees, stingless bees Wax! Honey bees Pollen! Honey bees Propolis! Honey bees Royal Jelly! Honey bees Bee venom! Honey bees Pollination! Honey bees, stingless bees, solitary bees
15 Pollination All Bees use pollen as the exclusive source of protein! All Bees are Pollinators!
16 Pollination stigma anther Bees are the most effective pollinators among the insects. They perform about 50% of insect pollination. The economic value for the US is calculated with Billion US$ (Morse 2001)!
17 Pollination Great challenge for most intensive agricultural systems Use of many bee species (including solitary bees and bumble bees) Preservation of Nature Agricultural Biodiversity International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators
18 Pollination Private pollination service: Pollination of greenhouses Problem: Pollination of legumes in North India! Agricultural Revolution without pollination doesn't work!
19 Pollination with Bumble bees Tomatoes and other crops in glass houses
20 Pollination with solitary bees Alfalfa leaf cutting bee (Megachile rotundata)
21 Pollination Pollination Project at Jordan (Strawberry)
22 Pollination Knowledge required! Pollination of Passion fruits by Carpenter Bees
23 Beekeeping with stingless bees Genus Melipona and Trigona Advantages Harmonious relationship between man and indigenous bees Including in Indian culture, for instance the Maya at Yucatan or the Yanomani at Amazonia Provision of pollen and honey for private use High prices Medical use? Disadvantages Relatively low honey yields (1 max. 10 kg/colony/year) Handling difficult, difficult for professional use Lack of knowledge on domestication and techniques of Meliponiculture
24 Honey Bee beekeeping (Apis spec.) Production of Honey and Bees Wax
25 Honey bee species of the world (Honey bee = Apis) Apis mellifera *(Europe, Africa, Asia Minor) Apis cerana * (Asia) Apis koschevnikovi (Asia) Apis nicrocincta (Asia) Apis dorsata *(Asia) Apis laboriosa * (Asia) Apis florea (Asia) Apis andreniformis (Asia) * economic importance free building single combs hive bees
26 Tropical beekeeping Asia: Apis dorsata, Apis cerana, Apis mellifera Africa: Apis mellifera: African bee, the Cape honey bee South America: Apis mellifera: Africanized Honeybees (AHB)
27 Specific traits of tropical honey bees
28 Specific traits of tropical honey bees 1. High reproductive rates 2. Swarming and absconding 3. Defensive behavior 4. No winter cluster (population dynamic)
29 High reproductive rate: Example of Africanized Honeybees Spread of Africanized honeybees in South America
30 Swarming and absconding Africanized honeybees in Brazil: By the use of swarm boxes the beekeeper can reach an equilibrium of loss and gain of swarms. Swarm boxes are also used to prevent establishing of swarms within cities.
31 Swarming and absconding Africanized honeybees in Brazil: Extreme swarming and absconding tendency
32 Swarming and absconding An Apis cerana colony in Thailand absconded from a log hive because of disturbance by experiments
33 Defensive behavior
34 Defensive behavior African bees and Africanized honeybees (Brazil): Lower threshold for defense behavior (a result of honey hunting in the tropics by man?) Long-lasting attacks (even several hours after disturbing the colony!) Attacks over a range of several hundreds meters around the hive Disturbed bees follow the beekeeper up to 2 km
35 Defensive behavior Africanized honeybees in Brazil: Intensive use of smoke, long-lasting defensive behavior of the bees of a disturbed colony
36 Defensive behavior Africanized honeybees in Brazil: Single colonies to prevent mutual disturbance and the use of poor food sources
37 Specific foraging strategy of African bees Foraging at night (Apis melliera adansoni in Togo)
38 Population dynamic No. of bees/ broodcells Bees Brood cells Brood cells Schwäbische Alb Worker bees März 2. April 26. April 17. Mai 5. Juni 26. Juni 19. Juli 6. Aug 28. August 20. Sept 10. Okt Seasonal course of colony development in temperate climates
39 Population dynamic worker brood drone brood bees number of adult bees/ brood ce Seasonal course of colony development in tropical climates (Uruguay)
40 Winter cluster
41 Honey hunting
42 Honey hunting Apis dorsata (giant honey bee) in India
43 Honey hunting Natural nesting site of a honeybee colony (Togo, West Africa)! Honey hunting
44 Uganda: log hives Honey hunting
45 Honey hunting Traditional hives Ethiopia: Baskets as a bee hive and a Honey bee tree
46 Requirements for more advanced Tropical Beekeeping 1. Suitable Bee hives 2. Protected area for the apiary 3. Protection clothes: Gloves, Boots, masks, Smoker 4. Devices for honey extraction and processing 5. Possibilities for honey storage 6. Knowledge
47 Types of bee hives Uganda: Top bar hive (moveable frames)
48 Traditional hives: Hanging or installing on a stand? Advantages 1. It is easier to place the hive on the stand and remove it. 2. It is easy to move both hive and stand to another spot. 3. The beehive does not swing about even if the beekeeper is working. 4. Honey collection and brood-nest control can easily be carried out. Disadvantages 1. Grazing animals can knock the hive over. 2. The legs of the stand can easily be used by lizards to reach the hive unless they are protected by lizard guards. 3. It is more expensive and tedious to make a reliable stand than to buy a metallic wire for hanging a hive. 4. Easy movement facilitates easy stealing.
49 South Africa: Top bar hive Types of bee hives
50 Honey production with the eastern honey bee Apis cerana Apis cerana in India and extraction of a small honey harvest
51 Modern Hives Moveable and stable frames
52 Modern Hives Research project in Ethiopia: The use of modern Polyurethane Standard hives.
53 Modern Hives Research project in Ethiopia: In the field a protection against ants and lizards are required.
54 Honey harvesting Tropical bees don t like honey harvest Isolated apiary recommended To much smoke influences honey quality Harvesting at night - bees are disorientated (less stings) - additional lamp is required Problems with robbering of bees from other colonies
55 Honey harvesting South Africa A.m. scutellata European method Honey extraction from top bars: Pressing of honey combs or use of special nets
56 Honey harvesting Method for small scale beekeeping 1. The beekeeper brings with him to the site an empty hive and a container with a lid for carrying the harvested honey. 2. He smokes the hive heavily from the outside to force the "security guards" and any other bees of the colony who are waiting outside the hive to return to it. It is important to continue smoking until the bees have lost all their aggressivity. 3. The hive is then carried away from the site, in the direction opposite to the flight runway, and placed on a platform (or on the ground) at least 50 meters from the nearest hive in the apiary. The empty hive is left at the hive site to serve as a temporary home for any returning foragers or for any bees that escape from the moved hive. 4. Working as quickly as possible in order to avoid robber bees, which can otherwise cause trouble, the beekeeper carries out his harvesting or control operations in the normal manner. 5. When the work is completed, the hive is closed and carried back to its original position, and the empty hive is removed. Any bees in it, or members of the colony waiting outside, will then rejoin the hive.
57 Many specific techniques and tricks are available! long term experience and learning from generation to generation is required
58 Specific problems of tropical Beekeeping
59 The Cape bee problem The Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis) is able to perform thelytokous parthenogenesis Capensis workers invade as pseudo queens neighboring colonies, especially when introduced to the territory of Apis mellifera scutellata and vice versa Meanwhile, a clone of parasitic Capensis bees create huge problems for beekeeping in South Africa
60 The Cape bee problem Cape bee (Apis mellifera capensis) removing an egg from a host colony of Apis mellifera scutellata Cape bee intruder (Apis mellifera capensis) is fed by a worker of Apis mellifera scutellata (photos: F. Ratnieks)
61 Plant protection Risk of residues and poisoning of foraging bees
62 Honeybee diseases Varroosis (Varroa destructor): Parasitic mite, sucks hemolymph from adult bees and brood stages, vector for secondary infections (Viruses). Most tropical bees are tolerant toward Varroosis!
63 Honeybee diseases American Foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae larvae): Bacteria, destroys brood cells shortly after cell capping, in Europe considered as epidemic, not present in central Africa and Brazil, distributed via spores dead larvae and honey (spores are very resistant)
64 Honeybee diseases Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) in South Africa In Africa a minor problem Meanwhile also in USA and Australia! destroys weak colonies and storage combs
65 Chemical treatment of bee diseases Varroa control with pyrethroids in Uruguay Foulbrood control by antibiotic food supply in Thailand
66 Honey: Quality control Residue analysis: Pesticides from plant protection Acaricides (treatment against Varroosis) Antibiotics (treatment against foulbrood)!! Zero tolerance for residue of Antibiotics in honey in the EU!
67 Economic aspects
68 World Honey market World Honey production in tons Africa Asia China South America Central America North America Europe Germany ~ 25 Source:
69 World Honey prices per kg (2003) In bulk: ~1.00 US$ (China) - ~2.00 US$ (America) Retail: US$ (Germany: 3,00-8,00 US$)
70 Honey Local honey market in Ethiopia Value for human nutrition: Source for carbohydrates Traditional harvesting and extraction : contains pollen, brood, beeswax and honey! Protein, minerals, vitamins (and some alcohol)
71 Honey market Local honey market in Thailand Problem: Quality standard required for access to the regional and global honey market
72 Honey market Professional honey marketing in Ethiopia
73 Honey: Quality control Pollen analysis: Sort and origin! Declaration European (German) Honigverordnung
74 Honey: Quality control Chemical/ physical analysis: Sediment Taste Water content (< 20%!) Enzymes (Invertase, Diastase) ph, electric conductivity, amino acids
75 Honey market Honey has an excellent position on the local market and, depending on the quality, on the regional or global market Organic production offers additional possibilities: Tropical bees are more resistant to diseases, therefore, chemical treatments are not necessary and residue free honey (and beeswax!) can more easily been produced as in temperate climates, The production and marketing of honey offers an additional income, therefore, beekeeping contribute to rural development Problems: Access to regional and global market Knowledge about beekeeping (beekeeping tradition is very important!) Investment for the start of beekeeping Honey quality Storage of honey
76 Additional bee products Pollen trap Beeswax factory in Thailand (Increasing market for organic beeswax in Europe!)
77 Cooperation is essential! Courses for beginners and extension work Construction of hives Making of protection clothes Providing of extraction devices Bee products: - Private use/ Local market - Regional market! quality control Cooperation project at Uganda as an example
78 Summary Economics of tropical Beekeeping and rural development Chances Honey is a high price product in all countries Enormous resources in tropical countries are available Honey can be stored over long periods Beekeeping does not require own land Beekeeper and Bee products are highly respected Alternative bee products! Medical use Beekeeping offers additional income (Rural development, gender aspects) Problems Knowledge and tradition of stakeholder Start investment (bee hives, protection clothes, honey harvest) Extension needed Quality control of Honey Bee Products Access to the market