Assessment of honeybee enemies (pests and predators) in Bale zone, Southeastern Ethiopia
Keywords:Enemies, Honeybee, Pests and predators, Bale zone
AbstractAmong all constraints of beekeeping, natural bee enemies are known to cause great damage on the life and the product of honeybees through causing absconding and migration. A study was conducted in Bale from July, 2010- June, 2012 in six districts with the objective of assessing the effect of natural bee enemies on the life of honeybees and their products. From each district 3 Rural Kebeles (RK’s) and 10 beekeepers from each RK’s were purposively selected and a total of 180 beekeepers were participated. The selected beekeepers were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaires and single-visit-multiple formal survey method to collect the data. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 software and descriptive analysis method. The majority (96.86%) of the respondents in the study area were followed traditional production system, but only few beekeepers were started transitional (0.88) and modern (2.26) beekeeping production system. In the study area honeybees’ enemies, agro-chemicals, lack of knowledge to manage bees and bee products, lack of bee colonies and bees poisoning from plants identified as major beekeeping constraints. Respondents were asked to identify major honeybee pests and predators. Based on the result of this study, the existence of pests and predators were a major challenge to the honeybees and beekeepers in the study area. In all surveyed area the beekeepers were reported that the presence of Honey badger, spider, bee-eating birds, bee lice, Beetles, wasps, Death Head hawks moth Mice and lizards in order of their decreasing importance. Traditionally, the beekeepers were used their own control mechanisms of protecting these pests and predators like application of ash under the stand of the hive, hanging hives by rope on long trees, cleaning around the apiary site, using dog for large predators like honey badger, fencing their apiary site and mechanical like killing of the predators and pests etc. About 72.6% of the respondents reported that honey production trend in the area were decreasing and 25.1% and 2.2 was said increasing and unchanged trend of production system respectively. Despite the challenges of beekeeping, it is realized that there is potential of beekeeping in Bale, though the production system is traditional and there is an opportunity of improving the situation since there are plenty of beekeeping resources.
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