Management Practices of Beekeepers (Apis mellifera L.) in La Union

Abstract

          Bondot, George T. 2010.Management Practices of Beekeepers (Apis mellifera L.) in La Union. The study was conducted to determine the management practices of 24 beekeepers in the different municipalities of La Union from March to May 2010. Specifically, this study aimed to determine the profile of the respondents, management practices; brood rearing, integrated pest management, beehive production, packaging and marketing of product, problems encountered and profitability of beekeeping venture. The study used the descriptive quantitative research design wherein primary and secondary data were analyzed through frequency count, percentage, rank, mean, weighted mean and standard deviation. The respondents were relatively young with 41.17 years of age, males, married with 3.38 family members, college graduates, members of the beekeeper’s cooperative, attended 5-day basic beekeeping training and seminar at DMMMSU-NARTDI, Bacnotan, La Union, and begun with two starter colonies using their personal savings. They are now keeping an average of 9.38 colonies which composed of standard and nucleus colonies in one apiary site, sole owner of their apiary project for more than four years (4.58) and knowledgeable in producing and sourcing new queens. Majority checked their bee colonies every 7-10 days and always practiced smoking the colonies, inspection of colonies, selection of apiary sites, re-hiving colonies, splitting, addition of frames, re-queening, and arrangement of frames inside the colonies. Among the colonies of some respondents there was no infestation, however, to some respondent’s Varroa destructor mites and predator wasp were found serious and moderately serious, respectively.

          Among the different control and preventive measures applied by the respondents, the following control measures for diseases were effective; requeening, avoid using and interchanging infected combs, check brood for symptoms of disease, maintain abundant food supply inside the colony, relocate colonies in places where foraging plants are abundant, removing and discarding heavily infected bee colonies, and provision of protection against bad weather conditions. In the case of parasites; used of formic acid, avoid introduction of infected bees from a disease free colonies, purchase of starter colony & queen from mite-free suppliers, and avoid exchanging infected frames during manipulation were found effective. In the case of predator blue-tailed bee-eater birds, shooting them by gun was the most effective and for predator wasps; bottle jar with sugar syrup trapping and manual hitting them were found effective. Honey harvesting was done by the respondents once a year, in the month of December; with mahogany, narra, acacia, mango, avocado, citrus, cadena de amor and sunflower as the main sources and they always used honey extractor in extracting honeycombs. The respondents’ highest reported annual honey and beeswax harvest since in the venture was 195 kilograms and 7.57 kilograms, respectively. For packaging, they used glass bottles with proper labels which were obtained from the beekeepers cooperative. They marketed their products to friends and neighbors through retail mode of selling. The problems met in the venture were chalk brood disease, Varroa destructor mites, predator wasp and blue-tailed bee eater and in terms of profitability, the respondents reported a highest annual income of 46,310 pesos, which show that beekeeping venture, is profitable enterprise.

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