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African Union first continental symposium on bees and beekeeping

Bees for Development Ghana’s Dr Kwame Aidoo attended Africa’s first continental symposium on honey production, bee health and pollination in Cairo, Egypt from 6-8 September, 2015. The event was organized by the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) based in Nairobi, Kenya and brought together 80 participants drawn from 32 African countries. Participants included bee research scientists, beekeepers, veterinarians involved in bee diseases and policy makers. The symposium was hosted by the Egyptian Federation of Beekeepers in the Safir Hotel and was opened with an address delivered by the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr Simplice Nouala.

African Union first continental symposium on bees and beekeeping

The 3-day meeting discussed the future development of the beekeeping industry in Africa. Two keynote presentations were delivered at the plenary session on the first day. Dr Woolfgang Ritter from Germany set the stage with a presentation on bee diseases in Africa and was followed by Prof. Peter Kwapong from Ghana who made a presentation on the pollination industry in the content. Delegates then broke into 3 parallel sessions: 1. Trade and market access and impact of environment stress; 2.Honey bee disease and health risks; 3. Beekeeping industry in Africa, policy, technology development and livelihoods. Keynote papers were presented at these parallel sessions and were followed by other papers on various topics on bees and beekeeping. Over 90 presentations were made during the meeting. A second plenary session was organized to discuss reports from the parallel sessions and to prepare a comprehensive document on the future of the beekeeping industry in the continent.

Dr Kwame Aidoo
Bees for Development Ghana
Cairo, Egypt. 9 September, 2015

During the symposium Dr Aidoo made a keynote address in the parallel session, ‘Beekeeping industry in Africa, policy, technology development and livelihoods’ under the title, ‘Harnessing the potential of apiculture for sustainable livelihoods and increased employment in Africa’. During his  presentation he raised and emphasized the potential negative issues associated with the implementation of modern beekeeping practices in Africa, such as the use of frame rather than traditional hives. He noted in an email to Bees for development director Dr Nicola Bradbear that fellow delegate and Bees for development Journal contributor Dr Woolfgang Ritter’s also supported the need to maintain strong indigenous African bees that are able to overcome pests and diseases.

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