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Beekeeping Mentorship in Nigeria

Jerry Efobi

There is a reason why we practice the tradition of field mentorship in beekeeping in Nigeria. That is as a result of lack of information on ‘Apis Mellifera Adansonii’ (West African honey bee) in public domain. Most successful beekeepers I’ve met in Nigeria are full-time apiculturists, either employed in research institutions, faculties of Agricultural Sciences, or running a private firm. This is understandable because, technically speaking, beekeeping activities in the tropics happens all-year-round, unlike in temperate regions where beekeeping activities stop with the coming of winter. Beekeeping in the tropics therefore becomes a vocation.

Nevertheless, aspiring beekeepers in Nigeria who depend on internet sources without proper guidance, as a matter of fact, usually end up disappointed and ultimately give up the pursuit. This leads some disillusioned newbies to conclude that those who run a successful beekeeping operation are either ‘born with a special ability’, or engaged with supernatural. Such uninformed assertions can’t be further from the truth.

Simple reason why most beekeepers can’t survive a colony for one year is that they tried to apply the bee culture of ‘Apis Mellifera – Mellifera’ (European honey bee) on our own local bees. What more; most of the internet sources are made in Europe, America, Australia or any other country whose climates are so freaking different from ours. In fact, they chose to overlook the popular saying that ‘beekeeping is a local activity’. What works in Benue state Nigeria will not work verbatim in Anambra state Nigeria. How much less far away Texas, U.S.A. Internet sources, therefore, either make or mar an aspiring beekeeper. The odds are very much against us, hence, a local field mentor becomes inextricable.Are you interested in bee hiving? Get a mentor first if you really want to succeed. Gist Agrica is always at your service.

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