When we last reported on the bee keeping industry, the news was not very positive. Honey production had fallen dramatically due to unfavorable weather conditions. In a follow up of the situation, today we learned that the weather continues to plague the small industry, but those most affected are bee keepers from the north. Extension Officer with specialty in Bee Keeping, Margarito Leiva, says the department is taking measures in rescuing the situation.

Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer

“I however mentioned that we were waiting for the month of July and August when it is the actual honey season wet flu so that we can probably yields the increase of honey but that did not happened it started raining in May and then it stopped and then it was totally dry you know I think it is part of the climate change in fact there is a drought watch for the northern part of Belize according to CAMI which is the Caribbean Agro-meteorologist Institute so now what really happened is that the scenario has change most of the bee colonies have stopped laying eggs, the queen ceased to lay eggs because there is no inflow of pollen which is the normal ingredient for the colony to develop brume so what the agriculture department is doing presently is that we are acquiring pollen substitute which is basically the brume, the yeast flower with soya beans milk as well, we mixed it with a little bit of honey and we try to introduce it into all the colonies so that we can increase the egg laying ability of the queen, that is basically what we are doing right now.”

Leiva says that without this intervention, bee keepers stand to lose an additional twenty-five percent of their already dwindled colonies. Last year, bee keepers in northern Belize lost up to fifty percent of their colonies and are still yet to recover from that loss.

Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer

“We were hoping this month for the month of July and August we were hoping to make all the splits but because of the situation it is futile to do it any additional split that we will do we will we would just lose them because there is not the condition, there is not all the element there for the colonies to survive on their own so we would probably do it but later on.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“Is this the situation across Belize or only in the north?”

Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer

“It is basically in the north like I mentioned that there is a drought watch for the northern part of Belize but in the southern art they are getting their amount of rain we are not getting it but normally the northern part of Belize we getting 19 inches of rain that is not occurring so it is different.”

We will continue to monitor the situation of bee keepers in the north.