SCOPE OF WORK:
Request was for assistance in training beekeepers of the Aquin area in hive construction and increase of colony numbers/production. R. Chasser conducted equipment workshop, T. Mozer led live-bee demonstrations/discussions of problems encountered, and Marc Roger served as interpreter/facilitator with N. Marks also present.
Previous project begun by Belgian non-profit group “Apiculture Without Borders” was discontinued after 2000 for uncertain reasons; we found the Aquin beekeepers association had decreased in membership/livestock numbers by approximately half since then.
Problems encountered included the likely introduction of bee-parasitic Varroa mites in the past 5 years or so (reflected by beekeeper/colony losses reported to us, as well as field observations), and the use of apparently inappropriate equipment/technology and management strategies for local conditions [see “Small Scale Beekeeping” for an overview of appropriate apiculture:
We discussed possible remediation for future development, including equipment changes and the preservation of surviving/adapted bee strains/subspecies that appear to be mite/disease tolerant at present.
- COUNTRY OF ASSIGNMENT: HAITI
- VOLUNTEER NAMES: RAY CHASSER/TOMAS MOZER
- PROJECT DATES: JULY 22-28, 2002
DESCRIPTION OF RECIPIENT ORGANIZATION: HAITIAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (H.R.D.F.) /BEEKEEPING PROJECT
Suggested certain strategies for maximizing colony health/hive production under current operational limitations, but strongly encourage examination of alternative intermediate methodologies as a transition from rustic beekeeping being practiced. The conservation of naturalized bee stocks promises to be a major part of the solution to present problems, and protection from well-intentioned germplasm importation as well as incidental/accidental introductions should be emphasized.
Contacts with other national/regional apicultural agencies/groups/individuals should be pursued as much as possible in order to tap available resources/expertise, such as for example the Ferme d’Experimentation et de Demonstration Apicole (FEDA) [B.P. 16043, Petion-Ville, HT6140, Haiti]. A return visit in about six months to Aquin would attempt further training/assessment, with the option of introducing more appropriate technologies/strategies for beekeepers evaluation. Future assistance may include information on organizing cooperatives as a vehicle for development.
DAILY ACTIVITIES SUMMARY:
Arrived 7/22/02 in Port-au-Prince, met with USAID. 7/23: travel to Aquin, meet with beekeepers association organizers, deliver equipment/supplies. 7/24: conducted equipment workshop by R. Chasser, approximately 10 beekeepers attended. 7/25: conducted live-bee inspections/demonstrations by T. Mozer, another 10 or so attended. 7/26: conducted wrap-up with M. Roger/N. Marks attending, return to Port-au-Prince, meet USAID. 7/27: toured other FAVACA-related projects nearby. Departed Haiti on 7/28/02.
PERSONS CONSULTED: contact M. Roger/N. Marks for date/details. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY: T. Mozer, apicultural consultant/apiary technician (UofF) P.O. Box 4144, St. Augustine, FL/USA 32085/Email: email@example.com .