Beekeepers help others in Guyana - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Beekeepers help others in Guyana

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Amy Weeks and Jim Kelly spent two weeks this past month visiting Guyana, in South America.  They were assisting native Amer-Indian groups and others rebuild the beekeeping industry in the country.

Amy: "When the Africanized bees moved in 1975, a lot of beekeepers quit.  So now there is a generational knowledge gap."

The beekeepers in Guyana found that they could keep the Africanized bees and produce honey to sell...but there was one problem...this type of bee tended to leave the hive.

Amy: "When the bees tend to abscond is in the wet season.  They feed sugar water during the wet season to tempt them to stay."

So the keepers in this small country solved their problem with the different type of bee, but there remained the high cost of producing and selling honey in an extremely poor country, where the average monthly income is around $250.00.  The Farmer to Farmer program goes into a village and teaches how to increase the number of hives and lower costs.

Jim: "They had ten beehives, when we left they had sixteen.  They were buying brood boxes, to raise bees they were paying $27.50 apiece.  We showed them how the can make their own boxes for less than $3.00."

The Louisiana beekeepers also showed the Guyanans a more modern way to remove the honey from the comb.  They arranged to provide a modern extractor, which spins the frames from the hive and collects the raw honey.
  
Weeks and Kelly said the trip was not all work. They got the chance to meet a lot of the people of the country while there and also got to visit some of the natural attractions in Guyana.

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