Assessment of Colony Carrying Capacity and Factors Responsible for Low Production and Productivity of Beekeeping in Horro Guduru Wollega Zone of Oromia, Ethiopia
International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 14-21
Received: Dec. 26, 2018; Accepted: Jan. 20, 2019; Published: Feb. 13, 2019
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Kibebew Wakjira, Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, Holeta, Ethiopia
Alemayehu Gela, Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, Holeta, Ethiopia
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The study was conducted in Horro Guduru Wolega Zone of Oromia region, Ethiopia in view of investigating colony carrying capacity and prime factors responsible for the low production and productivity of beekeeping in the area. Individual questioner survey, focus group discussions and field assessment were used to collect the relevant data. Moreover, data on suitable land size for beekeeping, seasons and frequency of honey harvest, months of dearth period for colonies, honey potential of the area, number of colonies in one apiary and other issues were collected. Personal observations were also made to the apiary management of the beekeepers. The study revealed that out of 820,956 ha land mass of the zone, about 59% was found to be with the highest potential for beekeeping with the remaining portion with medium potential. Two major honey-harvesting seasons with average frequency of 1.66 times and two months long dearth period in between the two seasons were identified. Estimated honey reserve potential of the zone is about 89.2 thousand tons/year with colony carrying capacity of 520 bee colonies per single apiary. However, the average number of bee colonies managed per apiary is found to be 260 indicating the overall ratio of actual existing colonies to the carrying capacity of an apiary is 0.5. From this analysis, current average honey production from traditional transitional and modern were found to be 3.5, 14.6 and 21.0 kg/colony/year, respectively with pulled average of 10.6 kg/ colony/year in the study area. With the current bee colony holding size and production level, each beekeeper produces about 244 kg/year, while it has a possibility of achieving 700 kg honey per year. From this, the annual yield loss per individual beekeeper can be estimated to 460 kg honey which can further explored to over $820 financial loss. Bee colony miss-management is identified as fundamental major cause of low production and productivity of beekeeping in the study area than the carrying capacity of individual apiary. It is recommended from this study that beekeepers should follow the standard apiary setting to utilize the production potential of their beekeeping endeavor.
Colony Carrying Capacity, Flowering Calendar, Horro Guduru Wollega and Honey Yield Potential
To cite this article
Kibebew Wakjira, Alemayehu Gela, Assessment of Colony Carrying Capacity and Factors Responsible for Low Production and Productivity of Beekeeping in Horro Guduru Wollega Zone of Oromia, Ethiopia, International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2019, pp. 14-21. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20190401.13
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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