Mara — Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) has advised Tanzanians to embark on beekeeping and crop farming model for increased productivity.
TFS Conservationists told the ‘Daily News’ recently that the model guarantees high production of honey and harvests is a guarantee because, besides collecting pollen for honey production, the pollination process is also crucial for the plants to reproduce.
Butiama District TFS Conservationist, Mr Afidh Ally, said that when bees seek their food from plants the pollination process which takes place encourages not only high yields but also quality produce.
“At the same time, honey production is also guaranteed due to availability of bee food from the plants,” he said.
Beekeeping and crop farming model should be conducted at-least six kilometers from people’s residencies, so as to avoid any possible bee harm to people and livestock, he explained.
The system also involve ‘bee house’, through which the hut is to be installed in the middle of the farm for beehive accommodation.
The hut must be well constructed for security purposes because the bees need no any disturbance, otherwise, they completely vacate the area, said Mr Ally, adding that the disturbance might be by passersby or animals, like honey badgers, whose favorite food is honey.
Beekeepers should also control destructive insects, including ants, which make serious disturbance to the bees.
To fight the insects, beekeepers have been urged to have commercial beehives, wherein two to three hives are piled on and put on a platform/stage. The platform pole is to be attached by the bowel-like device, at the bottom, with the vehicle oil in to (oil) trap the insects when on their way to beehives.
TFS Lake Zone Publicity Officer, Mr Pius Mbilla, added that commercial beehives give the room for mass production since the hives are available at the same space.
He explained that mass production is due to the fact that egg lay and larvae are accommodated only in first hives where queen bee lives.
Such a first hive on a pile has what is called ‘queen excluder’ to prevent the queen from moving into other hives where it can also lay eggs and therefore minimize the production.
“Nothing more can take place where such a bee- leader is, but only egg laying, larvae and queen serving activities. That is why we prevent it from entering the other hives,” said Mr Mbilla.
However, production in the top two hives takes place only if bee-workers receive the queen’s pheromone, which is an order, in terms of smell, to direct bee-workers what should be done at a certain time.
Pheromone encourages bee-workers production with the assumption that they have their leader in.
“It is because no bee swarm can work without a being tasked by a leader. That is why we encourage a small number of commercial beehives on a pile to make the pheromone’ penetration possible,” he said.