Greener Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science Vol. 2 (3), pp. 067-075, May 2014.
ISSN: 2354-2292 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 010314013
Assessment of the Effect of Seasonal Honeybee Management on Honey Production of Ethiopian Honeybee (Apis mellifera) in Modern Beekeeping in Jimma Zone
*Tolera Kumsa and Dejene Takele
Oromiya Agriculture Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, P.O. Box 22,
*Corresponding Author’s Email: tolekume @ yahoo. com
Ethiopia has substantial potential in beekeeping with rich flora, proper ecological conditions and existence of large bee colonies. However, modern beekeeping in study area is still faced with challenges in respect to lack of bee management skill, colony absconding and low honey production. The study was conducted in Jimma Zone where modern beekeeping has been practiced since 40 years. For the study three districts (Kersa, Goma and Gera) were purposively selected depending upon the existence of large number of modern beekeeping. A total of 75 beekeepers engaged in modern beekeeping were contacted and interviewed. Visual assessment of apiaries and internal inspection of suspected colonies were carried out to harmonize the relevant information noted by respondents. Interview on beekeepers characteristics, seasonal bee management practices of modern beekeeping, bee forage flowering seasons, bee management constraints and honey production were collected and analyzed. The result revealed that 62.7% modern beekeeping in the study area is based on inappropriate colony management practices and characterised predominately by high absconding and low honey yield despite the abundant bee forage potential in the study areas. Inappropriate skill bee management practices, colony absconding, poor design of modern beehives, low honey yield and bee pests are the main problems that impede the full use of apiculture resources in the study area. Interventions in modern beekeeping should be focused on empowering beekeepers with skills through ensuring availability of improved beekeeping technologies with standard seasonal bee management practices should be strengthened.
Keywords: Modern beekeeping, bee management, colony absconding, honey production.