Rhea Beckles receives her Beekeeping Course Certificate from NCC General Manager, Ryan Als. (NCC)

Efforts are under way to rebuild Barbados’ honey bee population.

And, the management of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) is encouraging those who participated in its Beekeeping course to establish hives in the apiary at its Codrington, St. Michael location, to move the process forward.

General Manager at the NCC, Ryan Als, extended this invitation to the 18 participants during the closing ceremony for the final Beekeeping class last Saturday.

“If you cannot have one at your home, have one here.  We will facilitate it here in the apiary, where you can come and tend to your hive and harvest your honey. We have an extractor here. This is your place. Get in your suits; get in your hives and take the opportunity,” he urged, noting that the hives would be free of charge once they remained at the NCC.

Mr. Als commended the participants for their interest in beekeeping as he underscored the importance of the honey bee in Barbados. But, he lamented that actions, such as the destruction of hives and the use of pesticides, were negatively affecting the honey bees in Barbados.

Despite this, he noted that the NCC was working to rebuild the honey bee population by ensuring that there were a variety of plants on the island for them to pollinate. 

“Trees like dunks trees are moving off the Barbadian landscape. Once we had dunks trees at every corner, now there are hardly any trees, so we are working hard to build back not just the population of dunks trees, but also the variety of trees,” Mr. Als explained, adding that honey bees were critical pollinators of dunks trees.

He encouraged the participants to plant dunks and white and purple basil trees to encourage honey bees to pollinate.

The beekeeping course got under way in June 2021, but its completion was delayed due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed. However, participants underwent instruction in identifying and assembling equipment, honey bee identification, the anatomy of the honey bee, the correct way to use a smoker, hive removal, swarm control, identification of pests and diseases and honey bees and plants.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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