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Honey production systems (Apis mellifera L.) in Kaffa, Sheka and Bench-Maji zones of Ethiopia

Shenkute, Awraris Getachew and Getachew, Yemisrach and Assefa, Dejen and Adgaba, Nuru and Ganga, Gebeyehu and Abebe, Workneh (2012): Honey production systems (Apis mellifera L.) in Kaffa, Sheka and Bench-Maji zones of Ethiopia. Published in: Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development , Vol. 4, No. 19 (September 2012): pp. 528-541.

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Abstract

Southwest parts of Ethiopia particularly Kaffa, Sheka and Bench-Maji zones are endowed with very diverse and dense natural forests. This favours for the existence of dense honeybee population and production of large volume of honey. However, detail information on honey production systems of the area was lacking. In this study five representative districts were selected and data on beekeeping practice and its major constraints were collected. Traditional beekeeping system is practiced by more than 99% of beekeepers. The average traditional hives owned/household in Masha and Gesha were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than Gimbo, Chena and Sheko districts. Honey yield per traditional hive/harvest in Masha and Gesha were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than Gimbo and Chena districts. In the study areas honey contributes 50% of the total household incomes. The major proportion of the honey comes from forest beekeeping. In Kaffa and Sheka Zones, honey harvesting is done by removing all the content of the hive by discarding the colony while, in Bench-Maji Zone, harvesting is done by leaving all brood and some honey to maintain the colony. Prevalence of ant attacks, less adoption of improved beekeeping technologies and management practices, lack of practical skill training, under utilization of apicultural resources are the major constraints which require attention to be intervene.

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