A beekeeping workshop, facilitated by the Guyana Apiculture Society and the Association of Caribbean Beekeeping Organisation was held yesterday at the Bel Air Diary farm, as part of a regional drive to promote apiculture.
In an effort to undertake projects geared toward the development of the apiculture enterprise in the Caribbean, the Association of the Caribbean Beekeeping Organisation has sought funding to aid these projects, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA). It noted that the Centre for the Development of Enterprise through which the funding was sought, has retained a consultant, Clive De Bruyn, to conduct diagnostic studies of the constraints faced by beekeepers in the Caribbean and that these diagnostic studies have taken the form of workshops across the region.
GINA said De Bruyn has been conducting these workshop classes, within the last month and Guyana is his twelfth stop.
De Bruyn’s session yesterday dealt with topics ranging from diseases to cleaning of the hives.
From the findings from these workshops De Bruyn would make the necessary recommendations to the association, which would in have an understanding of the kinds of funding and projects that are needed to move the Caribbean apiculture enterprise onward.
Prime Minister Samuel, addressing the members of the bee keeping committee at the workshop, told them that the challenge the committee and Guyana face is to move beekeeping from a hobby to a real business. Efforts to do so can only be realised through an increase in the number of persons active in the beekeeping enterprise along with those already engaged in it, he added.
A large production is necessary to get honey in the export market, he was quoted as saying
He nevertheless encouraged the beekeepers to first focus on performing well in the local market before attempting the export market.
According to GINA, he urged them to maintain good quality, low price, and a dependable rate of production so as to establish and sustain the local market and having done so, only then the bee products will be ready to launch into the international market.
He encouraged the beekeepers to never be disappointed at the pace of the enterprise development as new things and new situations always take a long time.
“New things happen in a long period of uncertainty ….and then someday, some things happen and it’s all crystallised and move up,” GINA reported him as saying. “Identify the successful practices and make sure everyone is doing it, recognise the situations which are not successful so that everyone will know it.”
President of the Association of Caribbean Beekeeping Organisation, Gladstone Solomon said that Guyana is fortunate to have a Prime Minister who clearly understands the development progress of beekeeping as the beekeeping community in its effort to progress, must have the support of policy makers and the international organisation.
Guyana has a total of 220 active beekeepers, 159 of these are from the hinterland communities including Regions One and Seven, and the remainder from the coastal region.
De Bruyn has facilitated similar beekeeping workshops with beekeepers from Anna Regina and the Corentyne.