NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS 19

Bees and their role in forest livelihoods

A guide to the services provided by bees and the
sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing of
their products

by
Nicola Bradbear

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2009

This paper discusses traditional and temporary beekeeping with some of the bee products proposed as medicines. This material is presented for information only and does not imply endorsement by the author or by FAO. Use of these products is not recommended unless taken under the care and guidance of a qualified physician. Transport of bee colonies and bee products (e.g. beeswax) across international boundaries can pose a risk of accidental introduction of insects, fungi or other potentially destructive agents. It is recommended that anyone planning to move bee colonies across international boundaries check with appropriate authorities in the country from where the products are to be exported and the countries into which the products are to be imported for import permit requirements, sanitary certificates or restrictions that might apply. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106181-7

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to:
Chief
Electronic Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Communication Division
FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to: copyright@fao.org

© FAO 2009


CONTENTS

Download complete PDF (2,17 MB)

FOREWORD (Download 186 KB)

1 INTRODUCTION (Download 158 KB)
What is apiculture?
Areas for apiculture
Resources needed
Beekeeping and forestry
Assets created by apiculture

2 BEE SPECIES DESCRIPTION (Download 153 KB)
Bee species
Bee taxonomy
Honeybees
Bee species used for apiculture
Differences between tropical and temperate zone races of honeybees
Problems with the introduction of exotic bee species and races
The conservation of indigenous honeybee species and races

3 THE IMPORTANCE OF BEES IN NATURE (Download 193 KB)
Bees as part of ecosystems
What is pollination?
The pollination work of bees
Specialized pollination
Bees are good for trees and trees are good for bees
Bees and biodiversity

4 THE IMPORTANCE OF APICULTURE FOR RURAL LIVELIHOODS (Download 151 KB)
Creating a livelihood from beekeeping
The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach
Livelihood strategies involving bees
Apiculture’s role in poverty alleviation
Beekeeping projects

5 HONEY HUNTING AND BEEKEEPING (Download 223 KB)
Honey hunting of honeybees
Should honey hunting be encouraged?
The products of honey hunting
Providing support to honey hunters
Bee-maintaining
Beekeeping
The selection of equipment
Choice of hive type
Other equipment
Beekeeping: making a start
Management of honeybee colonies
Harvesting honey and beeswax from fixed comb and movable comb hives

6 MELIPONICULTURE OF STINGLESS BEES (Download 76 KB)
Meliponinae
Keeping stingless bees

7 THE IMPACT OF BEEKEEPING ON MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF FORESTS (Download 212 KB)
The impact of honey hunters and beekeepers on forests
Bees add to the value of trees and forests
Biodiversity and wildlife
Floral calendars
Melliferous tree species
Beekeeping in mangroves

8 THE VALUE OF BEES FOR CROP POLLINATION (Download 112 KB)
Bee pollination gives better quality and quantity of harvest
Where to place hives for pollination
Why honeybees often are the most important crop pollinators
How to see if a crop is adequately pollinated
Use of other bees for pollination
Pesticides
How to see if bees are poisoned by pesticides
How to protect your bees against pesticides
Alternatives to pesticides
Cooperation between farmers and beekeepers
Main types of pesticides

9 DEFINITION AND USES OF HONEY (Download 127 KB)
What honey is
Foraging by bees
The uses of honey
Characteristics of honey
Honey categories concerning origin
Honey categories concerning processing
Honey categories concerning intended use (trade categories)
Constituents of honey
Other factors concerning honey
Post-harvest handling
Processing honeycombs from fixed comb hives or movable comb (top-bar) hives
Processing honeycombs from frame hives

PLATES (Download 1,161 KB)

10 PRODUCTION AND TRADE OF BEESWAX (Download 130 KB)
What beeswax is
Beeswax production
Comb
Bee space
Beekeeping for beeswax production
Beeswax quality
Beeswax composition and properties
Uses of beeswax
International trade
Do not waste beeswax
Adulteration of beeswax
Beeswax rendering
General rules when working with beeswax
Traditional method of extracting wax from combs
Solar wax extractor
Harvesting wax from very old, black combs
Metal foil method
Extraction with boiling water and a wax press
Steam extraction
Refining beeswax
Slum gum
Marketing beeswax
Making beeswax foundation

11 OTHER PRODUCTS FROM BEES (Download 97 KB)
Pollen
Propolis
Royal jelly
Minor products

12 APITHERAPY (Download 87 KB)
Honey as medicine
Naturally occurring antibiotic in honey
Honey to reduce allergic responses
Beeswax
Pollen
Propolis
Royal jelly
Bee venom therapy

13 VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS (Download 136 KB)
Value-addition
Add profit by increasing product diversity
Create employment for other sectors
A way to use excess produce
Costs of developing value-added business
Marketing value-added products
Use of honey in value-added products
Use of beeswax in value-added products
Use of propolis in value-added products

14 HONEY MARKETING AND INTERNATIONAL HONEY TRADE (Download 225 KB)
Local marketing of honey
Marketing constraints
Constraints for the industry as a whole
Organising honey hunters and beekeepers into groups for marketing
Organising honey collection centres
Multiplier effects
Credit requirements of individuals and groups
Honey trade requirements
Fair trade honey
World honey trade
Export marketing of honey
Payment methods and delivery terms

15 CONSTRAINTS TO DEVELOPMENT (Download 130 KB)
The nature of constraints facing beekeepers in developing countries
Biological constraints
Bacterial diseases
Pests of bees and bee nests
Technical constraints
Trade constraints
Institutional constraints

16 SOURCES OF MORE INFORMATION (Download 126 KB)
References
Glossary of apiculture terms

REFERNCES (Download 148 KB)

APPENDICES (Download 112 KB)
A. Codex alimentarius information on honey
B. EU regulations for organic honey
C. Organic honey standards for European Union