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24.11.2008 General News

Standards board sends message to keepers


The first ever International African beekeeping seminar has ended in Accra with a call on Ghanaian beekeepers to form cooperatives to help reduce cost in accessing the facilities (services) of the Ghana Standards Board (GSB).

“It is rather costly to do it individually than to combine your efforts and group yourselves into cooperatives which will go a long way to reduce cost.”

Mr Adu Gyamfi Darkwa, executive director at the GSB made the call in his opening remarks at the seminar, which was organised by the International Bee Research Association (IBRA), the world's largest international beekeeping association which links research and practice to help beekeepers and scientists to understand bees better.

It was aimed at equipping the over 40 participants from Ghana, South Africa, Togo and Uganda with knowledge and skills about the life cycle of bees.

Mr Darkwa urged Ghanaian beekeepers to avail themselves of the GSB Guide Book in order to know what was required of them in terms of standards.

He urged the beekeepers to engage in best practices that would benefit the end receiver, that is, the consumer.

Dr Kamran Fakhimzadeh of the Ruralia Institute in Finland, educated participants on how to handle bees so as to enhance honey production and make maximum returns.

He said every beekeeper should know the functional biology of the honeybee and remember what aspects of the biology could be manipulated and utilized to produce more honey and other hive products.

Dr Fakhimzadeh said it was necessary for beekeepers to be knowledgeable of the bee senses and understand how bees felt and communicated with each other in several different communication systems.

“If this aspect is not understood well, it may have a negative impact to the honey harvest; conversely if bees are handled properly, they may reward beekeepers with honey and less stings,” he stated.

He said the types of hives beekeepers used were very important for their profit making, adding, “Moveable comb hives make hive management much more practical and productive”.

Dr Fakhimzadeh said modern beekeeping equipment was essential for beekeepers who would like to improve their operation and get benefit from the developed method as well as the world newest technology in beekeeping.

Mr Issah Sulemana, Chief Executive Officer of Tropical Agricultural Marketing and Consultancy Service, and a facilitator of the seminar, urged beekeepers to gain some knowledge about hive products and the methods of their production.

He asked the participants to put the acquired skills and knowledge at the disposal of other colleagues who could not have the privilege to attend the seminar.