Good Agricultural Practices

Site Selection and Location

  • Select site without geomagnetic interference.
  • Locate apiaries where there are adequate bee pastures in relation to the number of hives.
  • Locate apiaries where there is access to water, pollen and nectar.
  • Select apiary location that provides adequate shade to protect against the midday sun.
  • Keep apiaries a fair distance away from roadways, walkways, dwelling and commercial activities.
  • Apiaries should be located where there is easy access by vehicular traffic.
  • Place apiaries in areas free from hazards, for example flooding, fire and heavy chemical use.
  • Steep slopes should be avoided.
An apiary placed beneath a tree to provide protection against the sun and heat.

Soil

  • Select areas having stable soil thus having low chances of soil erosion and soil slippage.
  • Areas should have free drainage with good ground cover.

Water Quality

  • Honeybee should have access to clean water free from chemical and toxins.

Feed

  • Honeybees should only be fed for brood stimulation and to prevent starvation.
  • Provide honeybee with chemical free sugar and pollen substitute during dearth period.
  • Never feed honeybees enough for storage.

Registration, Movement and Management of Bees

All apiaries must be registered by the 31st of January of each year with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. In addition, all beekeepers and managers of honeybees and their products must follow the guidelines of importation, transportation and their management as stipulated by the legal framework and guidelines set out by the Chief Plant Protection Officer (Apiculture Unit). 

Pesticide Management

  • Restrict honeybee access to recently sprayed field or zones where toxic chemical application for pest control was done.
  • Beekeepers must be provided with information on spraying programmes such as mosquito eradication and aerial spraying of plantation crops in close proximity.
  • Encourage the use of bee-friendly agricultural chemical and or specific timing of application to cause limited impact on bee colonies.
  • Follow strict guidelines for the use of recommended pesticide in beehive to reduce hive product contamination.
  • Prevent spray drift into beehives by blocking entrances at dusk prior to spraying using damp newspaper or damp cloth.
  • Implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme for the control of Bee Pest and Diseases.

Animal Health

  • Manage pesticide use so as to maintain international residue level, if present.
  • Select and maintain stock of honeybee with good hygienic and productive characteristic.
  • Maintain highly productive and vibrant Queens.

Harvest, Pre-harvest, Post Harvest

    honey drains into a bucket from the uncapping tank
  • Replace old, dark honeycomb at regular interval.
  • Manage beehives to reduce brood laying in honey frames.
  • Maintain high bee population through proper hive management.
  • Manipulate hive equipment as required.
  • Harvest honey from bee combs that are no less than 2/3 sealed.
  • Extract and process honey under hygienic conditions.
  • Filter honey and allow it to settle for at least 10 days.
  • Do not expose honey to excessive heat.
  • Store and package honey in approve food grade containers and away from hazardous material.
  • Avoid storage below 23° C to avoid crystallization.
  • Label honey containers according to national and international standards.
  • Activities and conditions affecting each hive must be adequately recorded and kept for reference.

Sanitation and Equipment

  • Maintain good sanitation in and around apiary site.
  • All beekeeping equipment must be maintained in sanitary conditions.
  • Extracting facility must be free from pests, rodents and vermin.
  • All handlers of bee products must meet the national health standards.
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Monitoring

All operations must be monitored using the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (H.A.C.C.P.) approach.

Code of Dress

  • Avoid high scented fragrance or body odour when working with bees.
  • Avoid wearing colourful clothing.
  • Avoid woolly clothing.
  • Wear proper protective clothing.