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M.Sc. Thesis



October, 2010 Jimma University


M.Sc. Thesis

Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Agriculture (Animal Production)

By Chala Kinati Wakjira

October, 2010 Jimma University


As thesis research advisor we hereby certify that we have read and evaluated the thesis prepared, under our guidance, by Chala Kinati, entitled Honey Production, Marketing System and Quality Assessment in Gomma Woreda, South Western Ethiopia we recommend that it be submitted as fulfilling thesis requirement.

Taye Tolamaram (Ph.D) Major Advisor

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Kebede Debele (M.Sc.) Co-advisor

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As members of Board of Examiners of the M.Sc. thesis open defense examination, we certify that we have read, evaluated the thesis prepared by Chala Kinati, and examined the candidate. We recommended that the thesis could be accepted as fulfilling the thesis requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Agriculture (Animal Production).


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This M.Sc. thesis work is dedicated to my lovely wife Elfinesh Fentahun Abebe.



I declare that this thesis is my original work and all sources of materials used for this thesis have been duly acknowledged. This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for M.Sc. degree at Jimma University, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and put at the University Library to be made available to borrowers under the rules of library.

Brief quotations from this thesis are allowable without special permission provided that an accurate acknowledgment of the source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation from or production of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the Dean or V/Dean of the college or Coordinator of the Graduate Program or Head of the Department of Animal Science, when the proposed use of material is in the interest of scholarship. In all other cases, however, permission must be obtained from the author.

Name: Chala Kinati Wakjira Place: Jimma, Ethiopia Date of Submission: Oct. 30, 2010




The author was born at Green Lake, Jimma Geneti District, Horo Guduru Wollega Zone, on August 28, 1978. He attended his Elementary and Junior Secondary School Education at Green Lake and High School Education at Hareto Junior Secondary and High School and Nekemte Compressive High school. He completed his high school education in 1995/1996 and joined Ambo College of Agriculture, which is now called Ambo University for higher education and graduated on July 1 in 2000 with Diploma in General Agriculture.

After graduation he was employed by Oromiya Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau in November, 2000 to serve as Development Agent (DA) Supervisor at Jeju District of Arsi Zone, and then transferred to Ameya District of South West Showa Zone to serve as Impute Supply Desk team leader and Cooperative office coordinator of the District. He also attended summer in service at Haramaya University for five years and graduate in Animal Science on 25 September 2007. After graduation he had been serving as Agriculture and Rural Development Office vice Coordinator of Ameya District of South West Showa Zone until he rejoined the School of Graduate Studies of Jimma University on March 3, 2008 to pursue his studies for Master of Science in Agriculture (Animal Production).


Above all, thanks to my Almighty God for his help in giving me courage to cop up complicated situations I faced for pursuing my study (from high school to university) and for his help and courage during my whole study time.

I am deeply grateful and indebted to Dr. Taye Tolamaram my major advisor, who devoted his precious time to comment on the research proposal write up from the very commencement. Successful accomplishment of this research would have been very difficult without his generous time devotion from the early design of the questionnaire to the final write-up of the thesis by adding valuable, constructive and ever teaching comments and thus I am indebted to him for his kind and tireless efforts that enabled me to finalize this thesis.

Unreserved thanks go to my thesis research Co-Advisor Mr. Kebede Debele for his helpful comments Suggestion and offering helpful materials for the betterment of the thesis.

Thanks are forwarded to Ameya Agricultural and rural Development offices and Ameya Administrative Staff for offering me the opportunity to pursue this study, and Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine for providing partial cost of research work and hosting me.

I would like to thank SNV Ethiopia for sponsoring the laboratory work in the study without which the completion of this study would not have been possible in such a successful way.

It is my pleasure to thank Dr. Greiling Juergen for the help he provided starting from the beginning of designing research proposal up to the end of research fund approval in commenting, correcting, facilitating fund source and bringing constructive idea for the success of the study.


I would like to thank Mr. Edessa Nigeria for his constructive comment, guidance, encouragement, and willingness to support, from the beginning of the proposal writing up to Successful accomplishment of the thesis.

Grateful acknowledgements are extended to the enumerators for their co-operation and to the sample respondents and key informants who co-operated with me in supplying relevant informations in addition to their hospitality during the period of data collection.

The generous support and contribution of HBRC, Gomma woreda IPMS Project stuff members, all my honest colleagues, families and relatives are deeply acknowledged and emphasized in all cases of my future life. I sincerely owe all of them more than a mere expression of thanks.


AIFSP ANOVA ARD ARSD ASE ASE-AIFSP BoA DAs EBA EEPD ETB ETH HMF HS IBRA IHA IHC IPMS ITC Kg Km KTBH m masl MCTH MELCA MoARD MoTI N NGO OCSSCO OoARD P.a QSAE SAS SD SMSs SNV SOS SPSS TRS TV UEPB USD Amaro Integrated Food Security Program Analysis of Variance Agricultural and Rural Development Apiculture Research Strategy Document Agri-Service Ethiopia Agri-Service Ethiopia, Amaro Integrated Food Security Program Bureau of Agriculture Development Agents Establishments of Ethiopian Beekeeping Association Ethiopian Export Promotion Department. Ethiopian Birr Ethiopian Hydroxyl methyl furfural Honey Sample International Bee Research Association Institute for Honey Analysis International Honey Commission Improving Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian Farmers International Trade Cent Kilogram kilometre Kenya top-bar hives Meter Meter above sea level Moveable Comb Top bar Hive Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry of Trade and Industry Normality None Government Organizations Oromiya Credit and Saving share Company Organization of Agricultural and Rural development Per Annum Quality Standard Authority of Ethiopia Statistical Analysis System. Standard deviations Subject Matter Specialists Netherlands Development Organization Save Our Soul Sahel International, U.K Statistical Package for social Science Total Reducing Sugar Titer value. Uganda Export Promotion Board United State Dollar VIII


DEDICATION ........................................................................................................................ III STATEMENT OF THE AUTHOR ...................................................................................... IV BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................................................. V ACKNOWLEGEMENTS...................................................................................................... VI LISTS OF ABBREVIATIONS .......................................................................................... VIII TABLE OF CONTENTS ....................................................................................................... IX LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................. XI LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................ XIII APPENDICES ..................................................................................................................... XIV ABSTRACT ...........................................................................................................................XV 1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 1 2. LITERATURE REVIEW.................................................................................................... 4 2.1. Overview of the global apiculture sector and market analysis ................................. 4 2.2. Importance of beekeeping.5 2.3. Beekeeping in Ethiopia ................................................................................................. 7 2.3.1. Beekeeping systems .................................................................................................. 7 Traditional beekeeping ................................................................................... 8 Transitional (movable top-bar) system of beekeeping................................. 9 Modern (movable- frame) system of beekeeping ....................................... 10 2.3.2. Economic importance of beekeeping in Ethiopia ................................................ 11 Honey production .......................................................................................... 11 Beeswax production and other beehive products.12 2.3.3. Honey quality.......................................................................................................... 13 2.3.4. Honey and beeswax markets and marketing ....................................................... 15 2.3.5. Major constraints in beekeeping........................................................................... 17 3. MATERIALS AND METHODS ...................................................................................... 19 3.1 Description of the study area ...................................................................................... 19 3.2 Method of data collection ............................................................................................ 20 3.2.1 Survey ....................................................................................................................... 20


TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) 3.2.2 Laboratory analysis ................................................................................................ 21 3.3 Methods of data analysis ............................................................................................. 25 4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ........................................................................................ 26 4.1. Socio-economic characteristics of households .......................................................... 26 4.2. Major beekeeping activities ........................................................................................ 28 4.2.1. Acquiring & placement of honeybee colony ........................................................ 28 4.2.2. Beehive construction .............................................................................................. 30 4.2.3. Types of beekeeping equipments used ................................................................. 33 4.2.4 Activities performed before hanging of the hive .................................................. 34 4.2.5. Honey harvesting techniques and seasons ........................................................... 35 4.2.6. Inspection/management of honeybee colonies ..................................................... 35 4.3. Traditional method of characterizing honeybee colonies ........................................ 37 4.4. Honey extraction, processing and storage method .................................................. 37 4.5. Honey yield from different types of beehive ............................................................. 38 4.6. Honey quality............................................................................................................... 42 4.7. Market structure/marketing channel ........................................................................ 47 4.8. Opportunities and challenges in beekeeping development of Gomma woreda ..... 52 4.8.1 Opportunities for sustainable beekeeping ............................................................ 52 4.8.2 Challenges to beekeeping in the study areas......................................................... 54 5. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION................................................................................... 59 6. REFERENCE ..................................................................................................................... 62 7. APPENDIX ......................................................................................................................... 68

Table Page

1. Honey production per continent, 2004---------------------------------------------------------------5 2. Honey yield potential of different beehive types -------------------------------------------------10 3. Honey and beeswax production trend of Ethiopia over different Years (1996-2001) and (2002-2006) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 4. Honey and beeswax quantity exported and revenue generated over different years---------16 5. Kebeles selected for the study-----------------------------------------------------------------------20 6. Dilution of sample and reference solutions carried for estimation of HMF. -----------------24 7. Scio-economic indicators of the sample respondents (n=180) in the study area-------------26 8. Sources of honeybee colonies in the study areas-------------------------------------------------28 9. Placement of different beehives after colony capturing-----------------------------------------29 10. Storage period of honey in the study woreda----------------------------------------------------38 11. Least square means and standard error for honey yield obtained from different type of beehives per annum of the study area. -----------------------------------------------------------39 12. Least square means and standard error for Honey yield from different type of beehives based on production category ---------------------------------------------------------------------41 13. Mean results of honey quality in the study areas compared to National and International standards----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------44


LIST OF TABLES (continued)

14. Least square means and standard errors for honey quality parameter which are collected from farmer and local market----------------------------------------------------------------------46 15. Correlations for the pair wise honey sample result of different quality parameters--------47 16. Least square means and standard errors for honey price of different localities in the study area----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------50 17. Distribution of sample farmers by annual total gross income earned from the sale of honey-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------51 18. List of some major honeybee floras in the study areas-----------------------------------------54 19. Major constraints identified by respondent beekeepers in the study woredas---------------55 20. Percent and ranks of major pests and predators-------------------------------------------------57


Figure Pages

1. Map of Gomma woreda with sampled kebeles---------------------------------------------------19 2. Educational level of the beekeeper household ----------------------------------------------------27 3. Traditional hive placement---------------------------------------------------------------------------31 4. Top bar hive type and its placement----------------------------------------------------------------32 5: Modern beehive placement (under the eaves of house) and suppering practice--------------32 6: Modern hive placement and suppering practice-------------------------------------------------.-33 7: Respondents mean honey production from 2005 to 2009 in the study areas-----------------40 8: Number of honeybee colonies over the five years in the study area---------------------------40 9: Honey market channel of the study areas---------------------------------------------------------49





1. Plates used in the study.......69 2. Questionnaire used in the study.........71


The study was conducted in Gomma District South Western Ethiopia in 2009/2010.The objectives of the study were to assess the current honey production system, marketing system, quality assessment and to assess the honey yield in different types of hives in the area. For this study 6 kebeles were selected using purposive sampling techniques. From each kebeles 30 farmers (a total of 180) were drawn by random sampling technique and interviewed using pre tested structured questionnaires. Moreover, 36 table honey samples each weighing 0.5 kg from different farmers and local markets were randomly collected for physico-chemical evaluation (moisture content, pH, total reducing sugar content, sucrose, acidity, ash content and Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF)). An average bee colony holding size of the study area was about 7.36/household. Honey yield/production/house holds were 77.55kg, 81.84kg and 186.18kg for traditional, transitional and movable frame hive respectively. From this study, three types of honeybee production systems having varied honey bee production capacity were identified, namely: (1) Traditional beekeeping systems with an average honey (7.20 0.23kg/year) (2) Transitional beekeeping systems (MCTB) with an average honey (14.70 0.62kg/year) and (3) Movable frame beekeeping systems with average production of 23.380.73kg per year. When different localities (kebeles) were compared in terms of honey price per kilogram for crude honey there was no significant difference was observed (P<0.05), while for table honey there was a significance difference mean value (P<0.05).This difference is may be due to the quality of there product in relation to the way they strained the honey and the physical appearance is unattractive due to impurities. Based on the result of this study, the major challenges of beekeeping is lack of knowledge, pests and predators, pesticide poisoning, absconding, lack of beekeeping equipments and materials, marketing problems, lack of honey storage facilities, bee disease and poor extension service. On the other hand, the opportunities for beekeeping in the study areas were the existence and abundance of honeybee, availability of potential flowering plants, ample sources of water for bees, beekeepers' experience and practices, marketing situation of bee product. Almost all samples of honey examined (Moisture=18.52%, Ash= 0.23%, Sugar reducing=67.83%, SU=7.55%, Free acidity=28.24milli.equiv.acid/kg, HMF=6.32mg/kg PH=3.81, and Water insoluble material=3.2) were within the acceptable range of world and national standard, except for water insoluble material which is poor mainly due to lack of appropriate handling during harvesting and storage of the product. Due to high potential of the study area for apiculture and good quality standard of the honey, it is advised to exploit the potential for export market with better intervention. More study is also required to characterize the honeybees of the area and major pests and diseases of economic importance. Key words: Gomma woreda, honeybee, honey quality, marketing, production system


1. INTRODUCTION Africa is blessed with numerous types of wild honeybee (Adjare, 1990). Honey bee exists everywhere in the continent where man lives, from the equatorial evergreen rain-forest to the desert oasis, although they are more numerous in the drier savannah than in the wetter forest areas. They all produce honey, the nutritious natural food good for both man and animals. Ethiopia is one of the countries of the continent which has the largest honeybee populations and having big potential of honey production with its varied ecological and climatic conditions. Ethiopia is home to the most diverse flora that provides surplus nectar and pollen to bees. There is an ancient tradition for beekeeping in Ethiopia which stretches back into the millennia of the country's early history (Girma, 1998). Moreover, beekeeping is an appropriate and well-adapted farming practice to extensive range of ecosystems of the country. To date, over 10 million of bee colonies are found in the country, which include both feral and hived ones (Ayalew, 2001). Ethiopia is the largest honey producer in Africa and 10th largest honey producer all over the world. In addition to this a considerable amount of beeswax is produced in the country. On a world level, Ethiopia is the fourth in beeswax production (Girma, 1998). The country, having the highest number of bee colonies and surplus honey sources of flora, is the leading producer of honey and beeswax in Africa. The total honey production in the country is estimated to be more than 43,000 metric tones per year (C.S.A. 1995). However, of the total honey produced in the country only small amount is marketed (EEPD, 2006). About 80 % of the total honey produced goes to local beverage preparation Tej the so called a honey wine or honey beer, a famous and traditional drink all over the country (ARSD, 2000).

Since the late 1970s, attempts have been made to improve the productivity of beekeeping of the country through introduction of improved beekeeping technologies. Moreover, since 1993 strategies on Bee Resource Development Extension Package have been formulated and are under implementation in most regions of the country. Nevertheless, the level of beekeeping still remains in traditional system and more than 99 percent of bees are still kept in traditional hives with its various limitations (Gezahegne, 2001b). Because of this and other reasons, the country could not produce adequate table-honey for local and export markets. This indicates

that the efforts made to exploit the apicultural resources potential of the country are not satisfactory. Therefore, the products obtained from this sub sector are still low as compared to the potential of the country. Although thousands of tones of honey are produced every year it is usually poorly managed and unattractive in appearance (Tesfaye et al., 2007). Traditional hive is mainly used for honey production in the country in almost all areas. However, traditional hive honey is of good quality as long as it is in the hive. Post harvest handling, from the time of its harvest until it reaches to market has a significant effect on the quality. The method of harvesting and storage of honey play a vital role in determining the quality of honey (Crane, 1970) as cited by (Edessa, 2005).

Though Ethiopia has diverse and unique flowering plants suitable for beekeeping, the bees and the plants like all renewable natural resources are constantly under threat from lack of knowledge and appreciation of these endowments (Girma, 1998).The principal resource base for beekeeping has become seriously devastated in the course of time. The potential of the Ethiopian landscape for honey production does now, undoubtedly, only constitute a small fraction of its former wealth. Moreover, the destruction of the remaining resource-base can be observed going on at a steadily accelerating pace (Girma, 1998).

Recent investigation indicated that the number of the honeybee colonies in the country has been declining (C.S.A., 1995) and consequently the honey and beeswax production as well as export earnings fall down (Gezahegne, 2001b).

Production system study is important to identify problems and come up with research proposals relevant to the constraints and to formulate appropriate development plan for an area (Edessa, 2002). Hence, characterization of production system, identification and prioritization of the available constraints and suggesting possible intervention areas are the first steps towards any development planning in any fields and also in the apicultural subsector. Moreover, farming system approach to research and development work is recognized as one of the most appropriate method used to diagnosis and gaining knowledge of the technologies and describe factors affecting production at farm level (Amir and Knipscheer, 1989).

Based on these facts, even though Gomma woreda is believed to have diversified type of vegetation and cultivated crops as potential for beekeeping activities, so far there is no research information on honey production system in the area. Moreover, little information is known about the quality and marketing system of honey in Ethiopian in general and Gomma woreda in particular. Therefore this research was initiated with the following objectives:

1.1 General objective: To study the honey production, marketing system and its quality

1.2 Specific objectives: To evaluate/assess the honey production system of the study area To assess the marketing system of honey in the area To analyze the quality of honey produced in the area


2.1 Overview of the global apiculture sector and honey market analysis

Apiculture is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide. A number of countries have made strategic moves towards the development of this industry. Recent developments show a shift from a situation where beekeeping was considered a hobby and not business enterprise. In Northern Ireland, for example, mostly old and retired men practiced beekeeping. To-date Ireland produces one of the best honeys in the world (UEPB, 2005).

Honey is the major product of apiculture industry worldwide and produced in nearly all countries. This is attributed to the qualitative nature of honey produced from different floral / nectar sources in different geographical regions. According to ITC (2003), the total world production of honey is estimated at 1.3million metric tones (MT) per annum, valued at US$ 452 million. However, only about 400,000 MT of the honey is traded in the export market annually, indicating a dominance of domestic markets of honey is within the producing countries (about 67%).The major importers of honey Per annum are EU (150,000 MT), USA (100,000 MT), and Japan (50,000 MT). USA market alone consumes about 45% of the globally traded honey. The top exporters are China (100,000 MT), Argentina (70,000 MT), Mexico (40,000 MT) Australia, India, Canada, and New Zealand. Developing Market Economys exports represent 60% of world exports (ITC Interactive Trade Map). The trend in worlds supply has continued to rise, but the earnings have declined by about US$ 20 million. Asia is the main producing continent, followed by Europe and America in the third place. African honey has generally been traded locally and exports into the major countries have been low. Cooperative organizations and Non-governmental Organizations have spearheaded small and medium investments in apiculture and encouraged local trade.

Table 1: Honey production per continent, 2004 Continent Africa Central America and Caribbean South America North America Asia Europe Oceania Source: FAO, 2004 % Tone 11.2 1.2 10.0 13.2 38.3 23.3 2.7

2.2 Importance of beekeeping

The prospect for helping beekeepers of third world and raising their living standard through the development of beekeeping activities are bright (Robinson, 1980). Beekeeping has many advantages that help beekeepers to improve their well being. Its advantages can be itemized for the socio-economic impact of beekeeping. For instance, successful beekeepers raise their socio-economic standing in areas with subsistence agriculture, and farmers in developing countries can substantially supplement the family income, sometimes even double it. This means the family is food secured. Furthermore, some of the relative advantages and importance of beekeeping are the following:

1) Bees are cosmopolitan: they adapt to wide range of environment. In much of low land, at altitudes below 400 m.a.s.l. where cattle production may be severely constrained due to tsetse, livestock disease and other reasons, harvest could be obtained from beekeeping. 2) Smallholders and landless people can practice beekeeping. The hive requires little land and bees can collect nectar and pollen from anywhere they can get. Thus, wild, cultivated and wasteland areas all have value for beekeeping. 3) Beekeeping doesnt compete for resources with other agricultural endeavors and can be run integrating with other agricultural activities.

4) Bee culture does not disturb ecological balance, as many cultivation of crops and practices of animal husbandry. 5) The investment and running costs are relatively low with a little risk. Beekeeping is possible even for people with few resources; in some places bees are obtained from the wild, equipment can be made locally. 6) Globally, the honeybee provides pollination service. This is an indispensable activity in the crops and fruits production process. Therefore, beekeeping plays significant role to the agricultural economy at large. 7) Honeybee produces honey, beeswax and propolis and other bee products. These bee products have long shelf life without having special storage and transportation facilities as that of dairy and horticultural products and can be marketed locally or abroad. 8) The whole family can become involved since men, women and children can do the work in most cases at home. That means, it can help efficient utilization of family labor. 9) Other local traders benefit by making hives and equipment, and from using and selling the value added products. Honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis can be used in a variety of foods, cosmetics, ointments and other goods, which can be made and sold locally, creating more livelihood opportunities. 10) Apitheraphy, i.e., medicine using bees products: all societies have a wealth of traditional knowledge concerning the healing properties of bee products.

Beekeeping is also a major integral component in agricultural economy of both developed and developing countries and contributes much more than food through maintenance of biodiversity. Current interest, in quality of environment is influencing the people to look more deeply at the factors upon which food production, health and aesthetic aspects of the environment depend (Martin, 1976). Honeybees are bio-indicator of environmental pollution and bee farming lends itself to conservation of natural resources, as natural resource management is an integral part of the production system. It is also alerting the far-sighted people to conserve resources. In such context, bees are world resources of such great significance in human welfare (Martin, 1976). In working to certain natural environments, conservationists know that habitats cannot be protected without the interest of the local

people. However, beekeeping offers a good way for people to create income from natural resources without damaging them (Bradbear, 2003).

2.3 Beekeeping in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, beekeeping has been a tradition since long before other farming systems practiced. Even though it is one of the important and the oldest farming activities in country, there are no available records, which confirm when and where beekeeping was first started. However, the Hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt refer to Abyssinia (ancient name of Ethiopia), as source of honey and beeswax and Abyssinia has been known for its beeswax export to Egypt for centuries when other items were not exported (Gezahegne, 1996). It is, thus assumed that the keeping of bees in baskets may have started about 5000 years ago in then northern regions along with the early settlements. No countries in the world may have to ancient beekeeping as Ethiopia (Fichtl and Admassu, 1994; Gezahegne, 2001b). Moreover, the oldest basket hive in the International bee museum is from Ethiopia. Currently there are an estimated 10 million bee colonies are fund in the country, out of which about 7.5 million are confined in hives and the remaining exist in the forest aswild/fearal. In the western part of Ethiopia, there are beekeepers who own up to one thousand bee colonies. They do not count the number of hives but only the number of tree on which the hives are hanging (Krell, 1996).

2.3.1 Beekeeping system

Ethiopia is endowed with adequate water resources and various honeybee floras, which create fertile ground for the development of beekeeping. Honey hunting and beekeeping have been practiced in the country for the exploitation of honey and beeswax. In places where wild colonies of bees are found, honey hunting is still a common practice in Ethiopia. Currently, beekeeping in the country is being exercised in different production systems. Traditional beekeeping practices in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, traditional beekeeping is the oldest and the richest practices, which have been carried out by the people for thousands of years. More than 99 percent of bees are still kept in traditional hives with its various limitations (Gezahegne, 2001b). Traditional beekeeping is of two types: forest beekeeping and backyard beekeeping. In some places, especially in the western and southern parts of the country, forest beekeeping by hanging a number of traditional hives on trees with no management is widely practiced. In other most parts of the country, backyard beekeeping with relatively better management is common (Nuru, 2002).

The types of hives and the way of keeping bees vary from area to area. Based on locally available materials used for construction the following types of hives are found in different part of the country. These include hollowed logs, bark hive, bamboo or reed grass hive, mud (clay) hive, animal dung (mixed with ash) hive, false banana hive, twinge (wincher) hive, gourd hive, earthen pot hive and woven straw hive. The beekeepers, which are experienced and skilful in using these hives, could do many operations with less facility (Fichtl and Admassu, 1994; SOS Sahel, 2002).

Traditional beekeeping is practiced with many millions of fixed comb hives in all parts of the country. These fixed comb hives can yield a modest amount of honey. Also the proportion of crude beeswax produced is about 8-10 percent of the crude honey weight (HBRC, 1997). This harvest is achieved with minimal cost and labor, and it is valuables to people marginal living standard. Gezahegne (2001a) and EARO (2000) stated that under Ethiopian farmers management condition, the average amount of crude honey produced from traditional hive is estimated to be 5 kg/hive/year (table 3). On the other hand, based on the survey conducted in West Showa Zone (Edessa, 2002) the amount of honey harvested form a traditional hive on average was reported to be 6.1 kg/hive/year. Transitional (movable top-bar) system of beekeeping

It is a type of intermediate beekeeping between traditional and movable-frame beekeeping methods. Generally, transitional system of beekeeping uses a single story horizontal box with slopping sidewalls inward toward the bottom (forming an angle of 115o with the floor) and covered with top-bars of having width of 32 mm for east African honeybees (Bradbear, 2002).

Adjare (1990) and IBRA (1997) suggested that for technical and economic reasons, most African countries are not yet in a position to use movable- frame hives, and for them top- bar hive could be appropriate. Although movable- frame hives are recommended for experienced beekeepers who want to optimize honey production, the Kenya top-bar hives (KTBH) has proved to be the most appropriate because of its low cost and the fact that the beekeepers or local carpenters can easily construct it (Adjare, 1990; IBRA, 1997).

Transitional beekeeping started in Ethiopia since 1976 and the types of hives used are: KTBH, Tanzania top-bar hive and Mud- block hives. Among these, KTBH is widely known and commonly used in many parts of the country (HBRC, 1997). The advantages of KTBH over fixed comb hive and movable frame hive were discussed by (Segeren 1995), (Bradbear, 2002) and (SOS Sahel 2002). The Ethio-ribrab beehive, introduced by MELCA, is particularly innovative because it utilizes clay and locally available, fast growing bamboo for construction rather than the trunk of a large tree. Top-bar hive in an ideal condition can yield 50 kg of honey per year in Kenya (Baobab, 2002). But under Ethiopia farmers condition the average amount of crude honey produced per hive per year would be 12-15 kg (MOA, 2003), and it may reach up to 18 kg (EARO, 2000). However, at zonal level (North Wello of Amahara Region) it has been reported that production of 24-26 kilograms crude honey per hive per year. Moreover, like traditional hive from top-bar hive about 8-10 percent as much beeswax, per kilograms of honey is likely to be obtained (SOS Sahel, 1999).

Movable top-bar hives, with its relative advantages over traditional and frame hives could be alternative option in sustainable development of beekeeping. The honey yield potential of different hive type is showed in Table 2

Table 2: Honey yield potential of different beehive types Yield (kg/hive) Hive Type On farmer's base 1.Traditional 2.Transitional 3-5 15 Research centre 15-20 5kg 18kg 15-20 kg 10kg 40kg 60 kg National average Potential yield (kg/hive) (kg/hive)

3. Improved 15-20 20-30 Source: Holeta Bee Research Centre, 1997. Modern (movable- frame) system of beekeeping

Modern beekeeping systems aim at obtaining the maximum honey crop, season after season, without harming bees (Bradbear, 2002). Movable- frame hive consists of precisely made rectangular box hives (hive bodies) superimposed one above the other in a tier. The number of boxes is varied seasonally according to the population size of a colony. At first time, Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth invented movable- frame hive in U.S.A in 1851 (Crane, 1976; Vivian, 1985). Later on different countries developed their own types of movable frame hives (for instance Zander, Dadant). In many countries Langstroth hives have proved to be convenient for handling and management (Jones, 1999).

In Ethiopia, about five types of movable frame hives were introduced at different time since 1970 (HBRC, 1997) and the most commonly used are: Zander and Langstroth style hives. According to Ayalew (2001); Nuru (2002) and MOA (2003), there are about 30 thousand box/movable hives are found in the country. Based on the national estimate, the average yield of pure honey from movable frame hive is 15-20 kg per year (table 3), and the amount of beeswax produced is 1-2 percent of the honey yield (Gezahegne, 2001a) but in potential areas up to 50-60 kg harvest of honey/hive has been reported (EARO,2000). Movable frame hives allow appropriate colony management and use of a higher level technology, with larger colonies, and can give higher yield and quality honey but are likely to require high investment cost and trained man power (Crane, 1990). Despite more than 30 years attempts of 10

introducing box hives, the rate of adoption and participants are very low and the changes brought about so far is insignificant, which requires identification of factors for the low rate of adoption (Personal observation).

2.3.2 Economic importance of beekeeping in Ethiopia

Beekeeping has been and still plays a significant role in the national economy of the country as well as for the subsistence smallholder farmers. The contribution of honeybees and hive products, though difficult to assess, is probably one of the most important small-scale income generating activities for hundred thousands of farmer beekeepers. The socio-economic impact of beekeeping and the main hive products and importance of beekeeping are summarized as follows: Honey production

Honey has been highly prized for its flavor, as well as nutritional and medicinal values by the local communities. In areas deficient in other sugar sources, it is highly sought after for its sweetness and energy-giving properties. According to information compiled in the National Apiculture Research Strategy Document (ARSD, 2000), Ethiopia ranks 10th and 4th in the world in honey and wax production, respectively. The current annual honey production is estimated to be more than 43,000 tones per year (CSA, 2005) accounting for about 24 % and 2 % of the total Africa and world honey production, respectively. With this level of production, the beekeeping farmers of the country gain approximately ETB 360-480 million annually (Nuru, 2002). However, these resources are underutilized due to the traditional beekeeping methods that currently prevail in the country (ARSD, 2000).

In Ethiopia, honey is almost exclusively used for local consumption, and to a very large extent (80 %) for brewing of mead, locally called Tej. Almost on wedding or other cultural, religious and social events can not be imagined without the honey wine Tej. Even though honey satisfies the local demand, it is so crude that it cannot compete in the international market (MoTI, 1995).

11 Beeswax production and other beehive products

Wax is useful primarily for comb foundation making, cosmetic industries, candle making, ointment and cream, varnishes and polishes, creating special forms and surfaces for artistic sculptures and for queen cups preparation to be used for queen rearing to develop and multiply bee colonies. In Ethiopia, wax is largely collected from traditional hives rather than the moveable frame hives. The wax yield from traditional hives is estimated to be 810 % of the honey yield, compared to 0.5 % 2 % from frame hives. The annual production of wax in Ethiopia is estimated at 3200 ton (MoARD, 2006). In several regions of the country, beeswax collection is not significant and the beeswax produced by bees, which could be harvested by beekeepers, is wasted. This includes the loss of beeswax that is sold to consumers with the crude honey. Honey consumers chew the honey and spit out the remaining beeswax (Fichtl and Admasu, 1994).The above estimate is without considering much of the beeswax in remote areas where it is usually wasted without properly collected. However, with all this wastages Ethiopia still stands 4th in the world in wax production next to China, Mexico and Turkey (EEPD, 2006). Honey and beeswax production trend of Ethiopia is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Honey and beeswax production trend of Ethiopia over different years (1996-2001) and (2002-2006) Production Years and Products ton (000) Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3 2003/4 2004/5 2005/6 Honey 27.60 28.00 28.50 28.50 28.50 30.70 30.40 25.20 30.40 43.70 Beeswax 2.76 2.80 2.85 2.85 2.90 3.02 3.60 2.30 2.70 3.70

FAO, Agricultural Services Bulletin 68

The other beehive products such as Royal jelly, Propolis, bee brood, pollen, and bee venom are also in very high demand globally. However, these products have never been utilized in the Ethiopian context (Ayalew, Gezalew and Gezahegn, 1991). 12

2.3.3 Honey quality

Honey contains a complex mixture of carbohydrates, mainly glucose and fructose; other sugars are present as traces, depending on floral origin. It also contains small quantities of organic acids, lactones, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, phenolic compounds, volatile compounds, pollen, wax and pigments (Crane, 1980). The contents of these components in honey are the most important quality criteria of honey and indicate some important deterministic quality properties of the honey (Sahinler and Gul, 2004).

Chemical composition of honey mainly depends on the vegetation sources from which it derives, though external factors like climate, harvesting conditions and storage can also influence it (Crane, 1980). Careless handling of honey can reduce its quality. The factors that influence honey quality are high temperature, length & conditions of storage and moisture content greater than 21%; lead to fermentation, high levels of Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), loss of enzymatic activity, changes in flavor, darkening and microbial growth (Moguel et al, 2005).

Honey may under no circumstances contain substances in such quantities as to endanger human health and has to be appealing for consumers to fetch a higher price. Above all, availability of adequate information on the quality state of honey encourages purchasers and motivates local investors to involve in the collection and processing of honey. The physical and chemical properties of Ethiopian honey as Nuru (1999) indicated that especially low productivity and poor quality of bee products are the major economic impediments for beekeepers. Moreover, the moisture content of Ethiopian honey was reported by Gezahegn (2002). Moisture content is one of the most commonly monitored parameters as international quality standards for honey (Codex Alimentarius Commission, 2001; Ethiopian Quality Standard Authority, 2005).


Honey quality standard: Different kinds of honey differ in color, flavor and density. However, the quality of honey produced, matters to a great extent (Krell et al., 1989). Only slight deviation in the color, flavor and aroma from the usual quality associated with the brand can cause the product to be rejected by the consumer. In order to have uniform standard of honey, an International Honey Commission (IHC) was found in 1990. Its main objective was to revise the methods and standards for honey.

International honey standards are specified in a European Honey Directive and in Codex Alimentarius Standard for honey. According to the definition of Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards (2001), honey shall not have added any food ingredient other than honey to it, nor shall any particular constituent be removed from it. Honey shall not have any objectionable matter, flavor aroma or taint from foreign matter during its processing and storage with no fermentation or effervescence. No pollen or constituent particular to honey may not be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign or organic matter. Honey shall not be heated or processed to such an extent that its essential composition is changed and/or its quality impaired.

Certain quality parameters are used to determinate honey quality. Countries strictly following these quality standards gain an appreciable amount of foreign exchange through honey export. The most important is the water-sugar relationship due to its effect on silt against fermentation and granulation (White, 1978). Sugars are the principal constituents of honey, which aside from determining its nutritious and energetic value, also influences some of its important physical characteristics such as crystallization, hygroscopic and viscosity. Ash value indicates the botanical origin; the blossom honey has lower mineral content than honeydew honey. Temperature effect is recognized by the production of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF). The HMF is inversely proportional to the quality of honey, which depends on pH, heat process after harvesting and storage temperature. Since Hydroxyl Methyl Furfural (HMF) is formed during acid hydrolysis of sucrose, the presence of high levels of this compound suggests the possibility that the honey has been adulterated with invert syrup (Swallow and Low, 1994).


2.3.4 Honey and beeswax markets and marketing

Large proportion of honey used for local consumption, mainly for the brewing of mead, also called Tej (Hartmann, 2004). Even though the national honey production satisfies the local demand, it is so crude that it could not compete in the international market. To this effect, an average of 3000 t of honey per annum has been exported to neighboring countries over the years 198494. Ethiopia is one of the five biggest wax exporters in the world market (Table 4). An average of 270 t of wax was exported per year over the period 198494, which in turn generated over ETB 2 million per annum to the national economy. Export of honey and beeswax is estimated to contribute an average of United State Dollar (USD) 1.6 million to the annual national export earnings (EEPD, 2006).

In the year 2004 the quantity of honey and beeswax exported amounted to 15.72 t and 305 t, respectively. The total export earnings from honey and beeswax were ETB 481,266 and 8.366 million, respectively (MoARD, 2006). Although the annual production of both honey and wax is large compared to other African countries, the system of production commonly exercised is traditional. Almost the entire production is achieved by using traditional beehives, comprising a wide range of some times very sophisticated models. Productivity of honeybees is very low and only an average of 56 kg of honey could be cropped/hive per year. However, in areas where improved technology has been introduced, an average of 15 20 kg/hive per year has been recorded.

Beekeepers, honey and beeswax collectors, retailers, tej brewers, processors and exporters are identified to be the key actors in the value chain of the honey sub-sector. Three principal channels were identified in the value chain of the sub-sector. These are tej brewery channel, honey processing and exporting channel and beeswax channel. These channels are complex and interconnected that implies absence of organized marketing channel and lack of formal linkages among the actors. Most of the harvested honey goes through tej brewery channel. Beekeepers directly sell their honey to local honey collectors (dealer or cooperatives) at district or zonal levels, which directly deliver the honey to tej brewery houses in their localities and/or transport it to the big honey dealers (verandah) for breweries in Addis Ababa.


Some beekeepers who are producing large quantities of honey also directly supply it to tej houses in their areas. Although economically not so significant, tej is informally exported through country visitors and transitory (Beyene and David 2007).

The traditional beehives are not comfortable for sanitation and high level of production. Farmers are only sell the honey and do not consider wax as means of income in their business. They dont use proper harvesting of honey and do not have honey and wax separator. The moisture content of the product is beyond the standard range (17.5 % - 21 %) (Nuru, 1999) and (QSAE, 2005a) and critical for the business. Farmers fail to supply honey with standard moisture content and needs improvement especially on pre and post harvest management. The limitations of apiculture know how especially the method of harvest and lack of proper apiary tools are causing the honey to be with high moisture content. The volume of production is very small and needs routine collection from fragmented small scale production (SOS-SahelEthiopia, 2006).

Table 4: Honey and beeswax quantity exported and revenue generated over different years year Quantity Exported(tons) 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 A.Gr.Rate (%) 1.70 0.93 7.40 2.65 2.97 7.74 17.95 17.96 27.90 47,053 29,812 213,055 70,659 78,252 158,008 528,136 465,079 33.1 Honey Value in birr Quantity Exported(tons) 294.935 226 232.983 404.275 304.998 1,461.191 292.24 7352.471 4750.204 4743.289 8051.658 8365.827 33263.549 6652709.8 Beeswax Value in birr

Ethiopian Customs Authority (2006)


2.3.5. Major constraints in beekeeping

Ethiopia has enormous untapped potential for promoting beekeeping; both for local use and for export purpose. However, like any other livestock sector, this sub sector has been hold by complicated constraints. The prevailing production constraints in the beekeeping sub sector of the country would vary depending on the agro-ecology of the areas where the activities is carried out (Edessa, 2002). Variations of production constraints also extend in socio-economic conditions, cultural practices, climate (seasons of the year) and behaviors of the bees. According to HBRC (1997), Ayalew (2001) and Edessa (2002), the major constraints in the beekeeping sub sector are the following: the unpleasant behaviors of bees (aggressiveness, swarming tendency, and absconding behaviors); lack of skilled manpower and training institutions; low level of technology used; high price of improved beekeeping technologies; drought and deforestation of natural vegetation; poor post harvest management of beehive products and marketing constraints; indiscriminate application of agrochemicals; honeybee disease, pest and predators; poor extension services; absence of coordination between research, extension and farmers; absence of policy in apiculture; shortage of records and upto- date information; and inadequate research institutions to address the problems. But all these problems may not be constraints to all parts of the country and may not be equally pressing to every place. So it requires characterizing the constraints in their respective places to take an appropriate development measure. Beekeeping research is new in Ethiopia. Holeta Bee Research Center (HBRC) is the main mandated institution undertaking applied and adaptive apicultural research that would support development (Gezahegne, 1996).

The beekeeping research so far conducted in the country although encouraging is not satisfactory because one center could not address all parts of the country. Most of the research work is still being carried out on-station with modern technology and management systems. However, the great majority of beekeeping production is based on traditional production systems where the results of on-station research may not often be applicable to the local conditions. An introduction of improved hives and working tools to the rural community are beyond the pockets of farmers and not so easily available even for those who could afford it. Many beekeeping projects that were implemented by government and various organizations to


boost honey and beeswax production were not successful mainly due to inadequate management and above all the beekeepers lack of awareness and interest. Likewise, it was not implemented on the bases of identification of potentials, constraints, attitudes and economic level of the communities. So it is very essential to identify the potential development constraints. As indicated in the Comprehensive Bees and Beeswax Marketing Plan 2 nd draft document(MOA, 2003), the country has set a long-term plan to raise the current 43,373 tones of honey and 3,658 tones beeswax annual yield to a level of 149,056 tones and 9,928 tones of honey and beeswax, respectively. It was also planned to export 80% and 50% of the total honey and beeswax production, respectively (MOA, 2003).

In the 3 years (2003-2005) development strategic plan of the ANRS; objectives have been set to expand the number of top-bar hives from 8,081 to 996,000; box hives from 1,691 to 66,400, to boost the honey yield from 2.8 million kilograms to 19.29 million kilograms and to increase the participation of women in beekeeping by 30% (BOA, 2003). However, to achieve this development plan, more integrated efforts and high human and financial resources were needed. An investigation indicated that the number of the honeybee colonies in the country has been declining (C.S.A., 1995). Thus, it requires making efforts to address some of the major problems of beekeeping and to keep it productive in a sustainable way. Still the country has potentials with enormous nectar and pollen resources that have not yet been exploited, and beekeeping could probably be a profitable activity to undertake. The potentiality of apiculture could be backed up by research and the beekeepers' indigenous knowledge which should be assessed. In this regard it is important and right time to conduct apicultural research in order to assess the situation at the grass-root level: to identify the system of honey production practices, the available marketing channels and quality status of the product.



3.1 Description of the study area

The study was conducted from September to December 2009 at Gomma district, located in mid-altitude sub-humid zone of the south western part of Ethiopia. It is one of the woreda/district under Jimma zone of Oromiya Regional National State. Gomma woreda is located at 390 km South West of Addis Ababa (IPMS, 2007) and is bordered by six other districts in the zone (Gera in South West, Gumay in North West, Limu Seka in North East, Mana in South East and Seka chokorsa in South). Figure 1 shows the map of Gomma woreda with the location of the study areas indicated by different colors. The topography of the study area ranges from gently sloping to hilly lands with ridges and valleys in between. The total surface area of the district is 96.4 km2 (IPMS, 2007). The rainy season extends from May to September with highest rainfall usually recorded in August. The mean annual rainfall varies between 1400 and 1650 millimeters with average maximum and minimum temperatures of 29.9 OC and 13.4 OC, respectively and the altitude is 1400 to 2270 m.a.s.l. The soil type is dark reddish brown and there is a wide area covered with vegetation in the region, including the study area (Elias, 2005).

Gumay Limu Seka Gera S. Chokorsa Mana

Fig.1. Map of Gomma woreda with sampled kebeles


3.2 Methods of data collection

3.2.1. Survey

Based on the information obtained from secondary data of district Agricultural office, Gomma woreda was categorized in to high, medium and low in terms of its potential for beekeeping. Six representative kebeles were selected purposively according to their potential for honey production. Two kebeles from each production category (high, medium and low) having thirty individuals each (Table 5) were selected using stratified random sampling techniques (Patton, 1990).

The selected beekeepers were interviewed by using structured questionnaires which was pretested, and translated into Oromifa language. The primary data such as numbers of beekeepers, bee colonies, honey yield from different types of beehives, honey quality, types of honeybee plant, types of beekeeping, market channels/marketing systems, honey production potentials and constraints were collected from respondent farmers through structured questionnaire (See the appendix 2). Moreover, 36 table honey samples were harvested from different types of hive each weighing 0.5 kg from different farmers and local markets were randomly collected for physicochemical evaluation and were named as HS-1 up to HS-36 where HS refers to Honey Sample and the number shows the sample number. The honey sample was transported using sterile container to the laboratory for physico-chemical evaluation.

Table 5: Kebeles selected for the study No 1 2 3 Production category High Medium Low Total Name of Kebeles Kota Omo Beko Omo Guride Koye Seja Kilole Kirkir Bulbulo No. of bee hive 4146 3014 2014 1338 1064 719 12295 No. of house hold beekeeper 458 789 267 265 119 150 2048


3.2.2 Laboratory analysis

The laboratory analysis such as moisture, pH, acidity, ash and estimation of Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) and Water insoluble solids content were carried out at Quality Standard Authority of Ethiopia following the procedure of Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards (2001). Further more, analysis of total reducing sugar and sucrose content were seen at

Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (Pasteur) laboratory for its quality evaluation as shown below.

A. Moisture content

The moisture content of honey sample was estimated by determining the refractive index of the sample with the use of refractometer. The sample was directly smeared on the surface of the prism evenly; after two minutes the reading of refractive index were recorded. Each sample was measured twice and averages of two readings were recorded and corresponding value for moisture content was recorded.

B. pH

The pH of honey was determined by using Tashniwal digital pH meter. 10 g of honey sample was dissolved in 75 ml of distilled water in 250 ml beaker. The solution was stirred and pH electrode was immersed in the solution and pH was recorded.

C. Total Reducing Sugar content (TRS) before and after inversion

TRS before inversion

Fifty ml of one percent honey sample (prepared by dissolving 2g of honey solution in 200 ml distilled water) was taken in the burette and 10 ml of Fehling solution A and 10 ml of Fehling solution B with 7 to 8 ml of distilled water was taken in 250 ml conical flask and heated until it starts boiling. 1 ml of 0.2 % of methylene blue indicator was added and titration was


completed during boiling only. The change in the colour of the solution from blue to colorless was taken as the end point of the reaction. The percentage of T.R.S was calculated by the following formula: T.R.S = Where: 10.2= Glucose factor T.V = Titer value
2 x 100 x 10 .2 T .V x weight of sample

TRS after inversion

Ten milliliter of 6.34 N brick solution (56 ml of hydrochloric acid was dissolved in 100 ml of distilled water) and 50 ml of one percent honey was taken in conical flask and kept in water bath at 60 OC for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then the sample was cooled and neutralized by adding sodium hydroxide solution. Neutralization of the solution was confirmed by using litmus paper and the sample was taken in a burette. Ten milliliter of Fehling A, 10 ml of Fehling B and 7 - 8 ml of distilled water was taken in a 250 ml conical flask and heated till it starts boiling. After boiling, 1 ml of 0.2 % of methylene blue indicator was added to the flask. The titration was completed while the solution is boiling. The end point of the reaction was recorded as the blue colour changed to colourless. The percentage of TRS was calculated by the following formula. TRS (After inversion) = Where,
2 x 100 x 10 .2 T .V x weight of sample.

Glucose factor = 10.2 T.V = Titer value

D. Sucrose The percentage of sucrose was worked out as follows: Sucrose (%) = TRS after inversion TRS before inversion x 0.95. Where: 0.95 = Constant


E. Acidity

Ten grams of honey was weighed with the help of electronic balance and poured in conical flask and 75 ml of distilled water was added by rinsing the utensil. The solution is titrated against 0.1 N NaOH solutions in burette using phenolphthalein as indicator. The titration was carried out till the solution turns to pink from colourless. The acidity was determined by using the formula: Total Acidity =
Titration reading x Normality of NaOH x 4.6 Weight of Sample

F. Ash content

Two grams of honey were weighed and taken in a silica crucible and 3-4 drops of olive oil were added to avoid flothering and kept in muffle furnace at 600 OC for 3-4 hours. The weight of the ash was determined by deducting the weight of empty crucible from the total weight of empty crucible and ash. The percentage of ash was calculated by using the following formula. Ash (percent) =
Weight of ash x 100 Weight of Sample

G. Estimation of hydroxyl methyl furfural (HMF)

The reagents enlisted below, required for estimate the HMF content in honey samples were prepared as follows: Carrez solution I -15 g of potassium hexacyanoferrate K2Fe (CN) 6 3H2O was dissolved in distilled water and volume was made to 100 ml. Carrez solution II 30 g of zinc acetate, Zn (CH3.Coo) 2 3 H2O was dissolved in distilled water and volume was made to 100 ml. Sodium bisulphate solution 0.20 g /100 g (0.2 %)-0.20 g of solid sodium bisulphate (NaHSO3) was dissolved in distilled water and volume made to 100 ml. approximately 5g of honey sample was taken and diluted in 25 ml water and then poured in to volumetric flask. Then 0.5 ml of Carrez solution I was mixed with 0.5 ml of Carrez solution II and made up the


volume. Then the solution was filtered through the filter paper and first 10 ml of filtrate was rejected. 5 ml of sample was pipetted out in two test tubes and 5 ml of water was added to the one test tube and mixed well. Five ml of 0.2 % sodium bisulphate solution was added to the second test tube and mixed well for reference solution (Table 6).

Table 6: Dilution of sample and reference solutions carried for estimation of HMF. Addition to test-tubes Initial solution Water solution Sodium bisulphate (0.3%) Sample solution (in ml) 5.0 5.0 Reference solution (in ml) 5.0 5.0

The absorbance of the sample was determined against the reference solution with UV Spectrophotometer at wavelength 284 and 336 nm by using 1cm-quartz cells within one hour. Sample and reference solution was diluted with water and sodium bisulphate, if the absorbance exceeds 0.6 at 284 nm. Dilution D =
Final volume of Sample Solution 10

HMF expressed as mg/kg = (A284 A336) x 149.7 x 5 x D/W. A284 = Absorbance at 284 nm. A336 = Absorbance at 336 nm. 149.7 = 126 x 1000 x 1000/16830 x 10 x 5. 126 = molecular weight of HMF. 16830 = molar absorptivity and HMF at 284 nm. 10 = Conversion of g into mg. 1000 = Conversion of g into kg. 5 = Theoretical nominal sample weight. D = Dilution factor (in case dilution is required). W = Weight in g of honey sample.


H. water-insoluble solids content

Twenty gm of honey was weighed to the nearest 0.01g and dissolved in a suitable quantity of distilled water at 80 oC and mixed well. The test sample was filtered through a previously dried and weighed fine sintered glass crucible and washed thoroughly with hot water (80 oC) until free from sugar. The crucible was dried for one hour at 130 oC, cooled and weighed to the nearest 0.1 mg. Finally the result was expressed as percent water-insoluble solids. Insoluble solids % by mass= M1 -MX100 W Where, M1=mass of the residue and the crucible M= mass of the crucible W= mass of the test portion

3.3 Methods of data analysis

The collected data from evaluation of physico-chemical characteristics was subjected to statistical analysis using Generalized Linear Model ANOVA of SAS version 9.2 (2002). Least significance difference at P<0.05 level was used to separate the means whenever ANOVA showed statistically significant difference. Correlation among the different quality tests were used to justify the standards of honey in the area. For the survey results, the collected data were coded and tabulated for analysis using descriptive statistics of SPSS 16.0 version software (2007).



4.1. Socio-economic characteristics of households

The results for the socio-economic characteristics of beekeepers for the study area are presented in (Table 7). The mean age of the beekeepers at Gomma woreda was 40.47 10.40 years. This survey result showed that people in the most productive age are actively engaged in beekeeping activities and the beekeepers had an average experience of 5.66 (ranges from 1 to 27 years) of beekeeping for Gomma woreda. This is what one would expect in a situation where people are actively engaged starting from an early age in helping older beekeepers to undertake basic tasks. Based on this exposure, young people gradually move on to become independent beekeepers as soon as they can obtain their own hives (Gichora, 2003). They continue accumulating experience by seeking technical advice from fellow beekeepers and development agents (DAs) whenever necessary. Of the 180 beekeepers interviewed only 13 cases were women beekeepers while the rest 167 were male beekeepers. Based on this study the average family size of beekeepers were 5.6 persons using average land holding per household of 1.73 ha. Generally, the average land holding in the woreda was showed statistically insignificant difference but is slightly higher than the National average household land holding of 1.0-1.5 ha (ASE AIFSP, 2002). This could be due to large area of land holding for coffee plantation and subsequent vegetation growth suitably contributing to bee forage. Table 7: Scio-economic indicators of the sample respondents (n=180) in the study area. Socio-economic indicators of respondents Age of households Experience ( years) Family size (person) Land holding ( hectare) Honeybee colony holding size n = number of respondent 20.00 1.00 1.00 0.25 1.00 70.00 27.00 16.00 10.00 32 40.47 5.66 5.6 1.73 7.36 10.40 3.54 2.77 1.34 6.07 Minimum Maximum Average


SD = Standard deviation


Regarding to level of education, 34.4 percent of those interviewed beekeepers had not received any formal or informal education. The rest were at different stages of literacy ranging from reading and writing skills to completion of secondary school (Fig. 2). Educational level of the farming households may have significant importance in identifying and determining the type of development and extension service approaches.

40 35 30

25 20 15 10 5 0 Illiterate 1-4 5-8 9-12 Level of education

Fig. 2. Educational level of the beekeeper household

This shows that traditional beekeeping practices are based on informal opportunities and an individuals level of formal education does not matter as most of the beekeepers in this study are uneducated people. This is inline with Gichora (2003) who noted the insignificant role of level of education in the traditional beekeeping.


4.2. Major beekeeping activities

4.2.1. Acquiring & placement of honeybee colony

A) Sources of honeybee colonies to start beekeeping

The study showed that the indigenous knowledge of beekeeping differs from farmer to farmer and from area to area, based on their experiences and exposure in beekeeping activities. When beekeepers were asked to explain how they started beekeeping, 87.8 percent replied that they have started beekeeping by catching swarms. Similar study by Tessega Belie (2009) shows in Burie district of Amahara region 34.2 % establishing colonies by catching swarms, 25.0% buying, 22.5% gift, 10% training and Agricultural office (8.3%).

From this result, it can be concluded that catching swarm is the main sources of honeybee colonies in the study areas. The price of one established colony in Gomma woreda ranges from 30 to 70 ETB (the average being 50 ETB), but there is no as much extended bee colony marketing in the study area (Table 8).

Table 8: Sources of honeybee colonies in the study areas

Sources of colony From parents (as gift) Catching swarms Buying colonies From both family and catching Both catching and buying Both family and buying Total

Percent of beekeepers/respondents 5 87.8 2.2 2.8 1.1 1.1 100


B) Placement of honeybee colonies

In all sampling areas the beekeepers keep their traditional bee colonies (65.6 %) in the forest, the majority of both the transitional (97.3 %) and moveable frame hives (98.3) keep their bee colonies in the back yard (Table 9).

Table 9: Placement of different beehives after colony capturing

Placement of hives

Traditional (%)

Intermediate (%) 2.7 97.3 100

Movable frame (%) 1.7 98.3 100

Under the roof of the house Backyard Hanging on trees near homestead Hanging on trees in forest areas Total

2 2.2 30.2 56.6 100

In the study area from the interviewed beekeepers, 41.5 % beekeepers are practicing traditional beekeeping, 8 percent beekeepers are both transitional and traditional and 50.5 % are practicing both traditional and improved beekeeping. This showed most farmers keep both traditional and moveable frame hives and very little of transitional ones. With regard to gender responsibility, male 92.8 % and female 7.2 % are engaged in beekeeping activities. The main reason for less participation of female according to the respondents is culturally women can not climb up the tree for baiting bees. This is in line with reports of Hartmann (2004) who noted beekeeping as the mans job in Ethiopia and Solomon Bogale (2009) indicated that beekeeping is mainly the activity of male in Bale highlands of southeast Ethiopia.


4.2.2. Beehive construction

In the study area, traditional bee hives used are oval in shape with the dimension of around one meter in length and a diameter of around 20 cm approximately (Fig.3). It is made up of Soyoma (Vernonia thomasoniana), Koso (Hagenia abyssinica), Strawberry(Arbutus unedo), climber, Kusaye (Lippia donsis), Eucalyptus, Dhokonu (Grewia frruginea), Kachama (Myrsine africana), Qaqawi (Rosa abyssinica), Urgesa (Premna schimperi), Gora (Maytenus obscura) Bamboo, Shemel (Oxytenathera abyssinica), Shenbeko (Arundinaria alpine) and other locally available materials. The internal parts of the hives are smoothened with mud and cow dung and the external part of the hives are covered with grass and bamboo sheath to protect from rain.

It was also identified that in traditional hive the construction of combs is made either along the length of the hive or round shape. Hence, beekeepers are protecting bees from construction of straight comb along the hive length by providing round strips in the upper part of the internal hive, otherwise it is difficult to take the honey combs from the hive during harvesting. The honey yield obtained also from such hive is low as the bees construct few combs. But currently, there is/are an introduction of transitional and movable frame hives (Fig. 4 and 5 or 6 respectively) provided by the government on credit bases while other farmers have prepared by themselves from locally available material to minimize cost of investment. And also by the intervention of IPMS project emphases was given to the use of transitional or Kenya Top Bar (KTB) as an option because of its multiple advantages. This includes its affordability for resource poor farmers, increased production and better quality of honey compared to traditional hives.

Based on this, emphasis was given to training interested farmers, specifically in KTB management and providing them with credit to cover the purchase cost. Arrangement was also made to avail other inputs to beekeepers. In this regard, one apiculture input shop was opened in Agaro town with an innovative credit from IPMS disbursed through Oromiya Credit and Saving Share Company (OCSSCO). And also respondents were found to make use of box beehives that were drawn from different sources. It was found that all improved box


beehives were prepared in private small and micro enterprise manufacturing centers organized by youth and provided by Agricultural and Rural development Office of the district and different non- governmental organizations on credit basis. At the time of survey, based on the response of interviewers the price of one MCTBH and improved box beehives were Birr 500.00 and 750.00 at workshop level but the price of locally made MCTBH and frame hives are 150.00 and 378.00 ETB respectively.

Fig. 3. Traditional hive placement


Fig.4. Top bar hive type and its placement

Fig. 5: Modern beehive placement (under the eaves of house) and suppering practice


Fig. 6: Modern beehive placement and suppering practice

4.2.3. Types of beekeeping equipments used According to interviewers response, most of equipments used for traditional beekeeping (71.5 %) are locally made smoker, knife and bee brush made of grass and honey storage containers. When the beekeepers were asked to list the equipments they use and duration, the respondents mentioned a wide range of accessories and service periods that goes hand in hand with beekeeping practices. The full ranges of accessories are the following: smokers, gloves, bee veils, boots, water sprayer, bee brush, queen excluder, knife, honey container, honey presser, cast molding and honey extractor. It was learnt during the survey that, apart from the known basic hive equipment, many of the materials are either non-existent or kept by quite few number of respondents. Particularly, the honey extractor and cast molding was reserved at woreda Agricultural and Rural development Office. This is because of the material is expensive interims of price and serve the entire woreda beekeepers for demonstration purpose and some times given for the farmer at a time of critical honey harvesting by borrowing.


4.2.4 Activities performed before hanging of the hive

The beekeepers attract swarms in to the new hive by fumigating with good odor of plant species. Some of those plant species are ejersa (Olea africana), sombo (Ekebergia capensis), Kusaye (Lippia doensis), painting of bees wax in the internal body of the hive, Bessobila (Ocimum sanctum), and Wanza (Cordia africana). If two or more materials are found in their area, they fumigate by mixing together and it is powerful in attracting the bees. Fumigating is made by digging the hole, preparing the smoke and putting the hive up side down on the hole until the new hive gets brown. Based on that about 90% of the respondent sealing, smoking and rubbing the internal hive before putting the colony in to the hive and 8.3 % of the respondents were only rubbing with good smell plant leaf. But for the older bee hives, only a slight fumigation is required for re preparation of colony capturing. In the case of transitional and modern bee hive, they rub the internal hive with the leaf of good odor plant species mentioned above.

In all sampling area, about 61.1 percent of the beekeepers practices catching of the swarms by hanging bait hive on the tree and 33.9 percent of the beekeepers spray soil or water on the swarm colony, then catching the entire colony by cutting the branch of trees on which they are clustered or by shaking them on to the container (basket) then after turn to the hive. On the other hand, few peoples are catching the queen and put in the traditional queen cage made up of grass, Shenbeko(Arundinaria alpine)or cutting the wing of queen at the middle to avoid flying. After doing so, they put in to the hive. The other method is after catching the queen they put in a queen cage for 3 to 5 days and after the bees accustomed to the new hive the queen is released. For the transitional and modern hive, they transfer directly from local hive after catching. In this system again they put a queen excluder around the entrance for 3 to 5 days to avoid absconding of a colony. Therefore, this traditional ways of queen control (cutting the wing of queen) is very common since beekeepers knowledge on bee biology is inadequate. However, such practice could have a negative effect if the queen is virgin since insect mates in the air.


4.2.5. Honey harvesting techniques and seasons

Most traditional beekeepers identify honey harvesting season by the experiences they developed in their respective area. The different indicators that the beekeepers use for identifying honey harvesting time are: smelling of honey, clustering of bees around the entrance of hives, end of flowering season and weighing of the hive. Some beekeepers identify honey ripeness by inserting a thin sized stick in to the hive. If there is honey, the stick comes back with the honey strips. This method of indicators could not efficient in identification of honey from brood by weighing and there is also impossible to identify externally whether the honey was ripened or not. But in the case of movable comb and frame hive the maturity of honey and pure honey can be easily observed.

Concerning honey harvesting practices the traditional method is more or less similar with that of transitional and improved practices of honey harvesting except they use traditional equipment such as smoker made up of clay, traditional brush made of grass, dish made up of wood for putting honey, and knife for cutting combs. Honey is harvested in the study area from October to December and May (peak periods) and also some times January to March in each year. Among the total 180 respondents 78 % of them harvest honey twice within this period of the year, whereas 16 % of the sample farmers harvested once in a year and 6 % of the sample farmers respond that they harvest three times in the same period, which indicates the presence of high potentiality of the area. It was reported that any production obtained in the remaining periods of the year would be left as food for the colony to strengthen it for the next harvest. This research result was similar with Tessega Belie (2009) in Burie district where honey was harvested once or twice, and in some cases even three times.

4.2.6. Inspection/managing of honeybee colonies

According to this survey 92.7 % of the beekeepers inspect their honeybee colonies. Of these, 87.1 % beekeepers perform both external and internal hive inspection, 12.9 % beekeepers perform only external hive inspection at varied frequency for confirmation of hive occupation


by bees and to check the bees' existence. However, internal hive inspection was limited to those honeybee colonies placed at backyard and under the eaves of the house, and in most cases for Moveable Comb Top-Bar (MCTB) and Moveable Frame Hives(Fig.4 & 5 or 6). Different authors (Kerealem 2005; Kebede and Lemma 2007) reported that farmers in Ethiopia do not commonly practice internal hive inspection due to the difficulty of the manipulation of traditional hives. The labor and time inputs per colony of local hives are, therefore, minimal and more effort and time was spent in walking the long distances between hives and homesteads for those beekeepers that placed their hives on branches of trees in forests. During the survey period it has been observed that farmers who have modern beehives did not manage it properly. This might be due to lack of training and knowledge on improved beekeeping practices, lack of supervision or follow up after hives distribution by donor organizations and might be also due to carelessness of the beekeepers. The hive did not have hive stand rather it has been kept on un appropriate stone and woods, where as others kept on the ground without any stands (Appendix Plate1). Moreover, the hives were totally surrounded by grasses and shrubs (Appendix Plate2). This could affect bees from entering into and coming out from hives. This can waste pollen they collected while they struggle to enter the hives and also kill the working time of the bees and for other thing it attracts ant and bee eater birds.

The majority of the improved hives observed were superred (addition of extra box) with two boxes, but the activity of colonies was very weak. This implies that beekeepers did not know when to add super and removed it. Also, they did not know the importance of superring and criteria required for superring. Some of the hives did not have lid, but they covered it with wood and plastic materials (Appendix Plat.3). Others were in a position to fall down due to unsuitability of stands. Most of the modern hives were not bounded (fenced) and placed on bare land with out shade (Fig 6). If the bees disturbed, they can affect livestock and human being available in the surrounding areas.


4.3. Traditional method of characterizing honeybee colonies

Beekeepers have their own methods of categorizing their bees, mostly based on the color of the bees. Accordingly, they divide bees in to two groups namely, dark bees Tikur and a slight yellow bees Faki. These bees have their own characteristics in behavior and honey production. The slight yellow color bees Faki are aggressive, productive and relatively small in body size. Where as the dark bees Tikur are gentle, relatively less productive and their body size is said to be medium and bigger in relation to yellow colored bees. But it is difficult to consider such type of bees as a race by looking the colour and size; it requires morphological and physiological characters study. From some of their behavior and colour we can estimate that they are similar to Apis mellifera scutellata studied by Amssalu et al., (2004) in the west, south and southwest humid midlands

4.4. Honey extraction, processing and storage method

According to the results of this study, about 65 percent of the beekeepers in the study area dealt with crude honey, which is obtained by breaking honey combs into smaller pieces by hand or stirring with a stick. Honey with brood is known to be spoiled rapidly and should be separated at harvesting time from the pure honeycombs. This crude honey is considered best for immediate consumption or brewing of traditional beer (Tej).

About 69.2 % of the interviewed beekeepers in study area said that they are straining their honey using clothe, sieve and hands 30 % of respondents were sold crude (with wax) and whereas 0.8 % of the interviewed beekeepers strained their honey after warming/heating due to lack of know- how and lack of processing materials. Where the beekeeper is not in urgently need of cash, honey was stored both in strained and with out strained form. They didnt want to sell at lower price when markets are flooded with honey, usually at harvesting time. According to the respondents beekeepers, 75 % of them sold their honey within 1 to 6 month after harvesting and only 1.7 % stored for more than two years (Table 10). This indicates less likely deterioration of the honey during storage given the less dependable storage material because of its short storage time. Similar study showed that nearly all sample (n=120) farmers


from Dangla (west Amara Region) and 52 % from Bore (Borena zone of Oromiya Regional State) sold over 85 % of their honey immediately after harvest. The remaining 48 % of the Bore sample farmers wait for price rise (on average for 3 to 5 months). Beekeepers sell the largest proportion of their honey during harvest at low price mainly to meet their demand for cash to pay taxes, debts and other social obligations (Beyene and David 2007).

The commonly used traditional storage containers by beekeepers are clay pot, and container made of cucumber (kil). The containers are fitted with lids made of locally available materials and sealed with mud and ash mixture. Such traditional containers will absorb moistures or may change the flavor of honey and deteriorate the quality of the honey. In addition, these containers can breakdown easily so they need careful handling and nowadays they are gradually replaced by tin, plastic buckets with fitted lid and plastic bags..

Table 10: Storage period of honey in the study woreda

No. 1 2 3 4 5

Storage period Less than one month* One to six months Seven to twelve months One year to two years More than two years Total

Percent of respondents Number Percent 26 14.4 135 75 12 6.7 4 2.2 3 1.7 180 100

* The honey will be consumed or sold after harvesting. 4.5. Honey yield from different types of beehive

Based on the information of the respondent on average the number of colonies in different hives/house holed were 10.808.61, 4.924.27 and 6.535.49 for traditional, transitional and movable frame hive respectively and also honey yield /production/house hold were 77.55kg, 81.84kg and 186.18kg for traditional, transitional and movable frame hive respectively. In this study, accurately determining honey production was found to be a difficult exercise, as most of beekeepers were unable to quantify correctly the harvestings in kilogram or any other weighing scale. Nevertheless, based on beekeepers estimate, the number of kilograms taken 38

per hive per harvesting was ranging from 3 kg up to 15 kg and 10 kg up to 35 kg of crude honey for traditional and transitional bee hive respectively and 6.25 to 50 kg table honey for movable frame hive (Table 11). This survey result was above the national average of 5 kg (Gezahegne, 2001a and EARO, 2000) 12-15 kg and 15-20kg (MOA, 2003) for traditional intermediate and movable frame hives, respectively. Moreover, according to the survey conducted in West Showa Zone, average honey yield of traditional hive is 6.1 kg per hive per annum (Edessa, 2002). These results are indicators of the existence of room for increasing performances of these beehives through good management practices coupled with favorable beekeeping environment. There fore, statistically there were highly significant deference (p<0.05) between the three types of hives in terms of yield per hive per year.

Table 11: Least square means and standard error for honey yield obtained from different type of beehives per annum of the study area.

No. 1 2 3

Types of hive Traditional hive Transitional hive Movable hive

unit Kg Kg Kg

Minimum 3 10 6.25

Maximum 15 35 50

Mean 7.200.23a 14.700.62b 23.370.73c

Means in a column having different superscript are statistically different at P<0.05

Based on the information from the respondents honey bee colony number is increasing from the year 2005 to 2009 by 1532 to 2718 (Fig.7) and the average number of colony/house holed were 7.36. This might be due to favorable weather condition, increment of beekeeping participant, and introduction of modern bee hives, a slight improvement of extension serves and indirectly a little increment in honey price. However, it is yet not satisfactory in relation to its potentiality. This result realizing the information obtained from woreda agriculture and rural development office which indicated disseminations of improved beehives, mainly movable frame beehives, has increased since 2003/2004 production year, which had a significant contribution in honeybee colony increment.


According to the respondent beekeepers, the trends of honey yield of the past five years (2005 to 2009) were increasing from 13,002 to 31,650.25kg (Fig. 8) and the average production of honey/household/year was137.57kg. This is also might be the same case with the reason for trends of honeybee colony increment that is due to favorable weather condition, increment of beekeeping participant, and introduction of modern bee hives, a slight improvement of extension serves and indirectly a little increment in honey price.

Fig.7. Number of honeybee colonies over the five years in the study area
35000 30000 25000

Yield (Kg)

20000 Yield(kg) 15000 10000 5000 0 2004



2007 Year




Fig. 8. Respondents Mean honey production from 2005 to 2009 in the study areas


Based on the information from ARD office of the study woreda, the sampled kebeles were categorized based on the production potentials (Qota and Omo Beko as high, Omo Gurde and Koye Seja as medium and Bulbulo and Kilole Kirkir as low) (Table 5). How ever, the result of this study showed kebeles which were grouped as medium production category are higher than the high and low production category in all types of beehive yield (Table 12). Moreover, the low production category come second in both transitional and movable beehive yield, while the high production category is higher in traditional beehives yield than low production category. Based on this research result, there was significant difference (P<0.01) between the three production categories in terms of honey production per hive in traditional bee hives. However, there were no significant deference (P>0.05) between the three production category in both transitional and movable beehives.

This shows that in traditional beehive, the yield per hive varied from one hive to another hives because of differences in size of beehives. Another contributing factor among the production categories for traditional hives could be the level of supervision or management employed by different farmers since traditional hives are hanged in the forest far from the home of the farmers. But in Transitional and movable frame beehive there was a standard size for construction of the hives and more accessible for the follow up as the hives are placed at the backyard (see discussion under 4.2.1 above).

Table 12: Least square means and standard error for honey yield (kg) from different type of beehives based on production category

Prodn. category Traditional (yield /hive) 7.3 0.43a 8.03 0.36b 6.25 0.27c 7.200.21

Type of hives Transitional (yield/hive) 14.23 0.41 15.03 0.51 14.85 0.39 14.700.25 Movable frame (yield/hive) 23.64 0.92 24.00 1.39 23.37 1.21 23.670.69

High Medium Low Average

Means in a column having different superscript are statistically different at P<0.05


4.6. Honey quality

The results of moisture content, pH, total reducing sugar content, sucrose, acidity, ash content and estimation of Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) contents and water insoluble material of locally produced honey was are shown on Table 13.

Moisture (%): All of the samples examined contained moisture content within the standard limits. Based on that 30.56% of the sample were <17.5%, 16.67% of the sample were within the range of 17.5%-18.5%, 30.56% of the sample were within the range of 18.5%-19.5%, 16.67% of the sample were within the range of 19.5%-20.5%, 2.77% of the sample were within the range of 20.5%-21.5% and 2.77% of the sample were >21.5%.There fore, all sampls were within the acceptable range except the one sample having 23.45 % moisture which was higher than the standard permissible limit. The moisture content of honey is related to its degree of fermentation. The control of the water content is an important requirement of proposed Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards for honey (2001), which sets an upper limit for moisture of 21 percent for honey in general. Present results were similar with Nuru (1999) Ethiopian honey mean test result of 20.5% but higher than those of Latif et al. (1956) who have reported the moisture content of Pakistani honey to be within the range of 14.3 and 18.6%. Similarly, Duthil (1983) has also assessed different honey samples for their moisture content and reported their moisture content to be within the standard limits.

PH: The honey samples presented a pH from 3.45 to 4.18, with an average of 3.81. The low pH of honey inhibits the presence and growth of micro-organisms and makes honey compatible with many food products in terms of pH and acidity. This parameter is of great importance during the extraction and storage of honey as it influences the texture, stability and shelf life of honey Kirkwood et al., 1960; Adebiyi et al., 2004). Published reports indicate that pH should be between 3.2 and 4.5. Present results are similar with that of Jose P., et al. (2009) who has reported the pH value of 3.47 to 4.24, with an average of 3.91.

Reducing sugars (%): The results of the analysis showed that the reducing sugar content of honey samples ranged between 61.15%-77.41% for the tested samples of locally produced


honey. Comparison between honey samples showed that all of the locally produced honeys met the quality standard for reducing sugar except the three samples having 61.15, 62.15 and 64.69 which were lower than the standard permissible limit. In nearly all honeys two important monosaccharide glucose and fructose predominate, which are defined as reducing sugars and accounts for around 75% of honey. According to proposed Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards (2001), a minimum reducing sugar content of 65% is required. These results are in agreement with that of Nuru (1999) Ethiopian honey means test result of 65.6% total reducing sugar and Nauta (1983) who also reported that reducing sugars in honey were in the range of 60 to 65%.

Sucrose (%): The test result mean percentage of apparent sucrose ranged between 0.75 %12.28% which was a little higher than national standard and lower than the world standard permissible limit. The higher result of sucrose content indicates that the presence of adulteration. This result has also some variation with Nuru (1999) who indicated Ethiopian honey mean test result of 3.6% sucrose .however, which is in acceptable range of world market.

Free acidity: The free acidity of honey samples is 28.24meq kg1 (average) with a range of 0.3057.30. Variation in free acidity among different honeys can be attributed to floral origin or to variation because of the harvest season. When the acidity becomes high, the honey becomes sour. The free acidity of honey maybe explained by taking into account the presence of organic acids in equilibrium with their corresponding lactones, or internal esters, and some inorganic ions, such as phosphate, 77.78% of the investigated samples met the demands set by the regulations, which requires not more than 40 meq kg1 and the remaining 22.22% of samples are more than the requirement (40meq kg-1).this may be due to the origin of the flora from which the honey is made. The majority of the results are similar to those of Nuru (1999) Ethiopian honey mean test result of 39.9 meq kg1 and Latif et al. (1956) who also reported formic acid content of Pakistani honey to be within the permissible limits of international standards. Similarly, Stinson et al. (1960) evaluated honey samples for their acid components and found these to contain butyric, acetic, formic, lactic, succinic, pyrogutamic, malic and citric acids.


Table 13: Mean results of honey quality in the study areas compared to National and International standards Parameters Study area test result Moisture content (% ) Total Ash, (% by mass) Total reducing sugars (% by mass) Sucrose (% by mass) Acidity (milli. equiv.acid/kg ) Hydroxy methyl furfural (mg/kg) pH Water insoluble material(gm/kg) 18.52 0.23 67.92 7.55 28.24 6.32 3.81 3.2 National Standards* 17.5 - 21 <0.6 >65 <5 <40 <40 n = 36 World honey Standards* 18 - 23 0.25 - 1.0 60 - 70 <10 <50 <80 3.2 - 4.5 <0.1 n = No. of samples

*Source: Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia (2005)

Ash (%): The ash content of locally produced honey samples ranged between 0.05 0.60 which is within the standard limits. These results are in line with those of Nuru (1999) and Cranel (1976) who reported ash content of honey samples to be within the range of 0.1-1.0%. Similarly, Mclellan (1975) evaluated honey samples for their ash content and different minerals. The ash content of honey averages about 0.2122% of its weight, but varies widely from 0.02 to over 1.0%. Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards (2001) for honey, proposed ash content not more than 0.6% for normal honey. HMF (mg kg-1): The HMF contents of locally produced honeys ranged between 0.05 and 17.70mg-1 except the one having 87.5mg kg-1 which was higher than the standard permissible limit. Hence all of the samples meet the HMF standard for quality. HMF compound is formed by the decomposition of fructose in the presence of acid. Small amount of HMF (0.06-0.2 mg kg-1) is present naturally even in fresh honeys. Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards (2001) of honey proposed a limit of 40 mg kg-1 as an indication of heated honeys and content more than 150 mg kg-1 is taken to indicate adulteration with invert sugar. Previously Nuru (1999) observed that Ethiopian honey mean test result of 32.4mg/kg and Jose P., et al (2009)


analyzed the honey samples its HMF content ranged from 0.9 to 22.8mg kg1 (mean value standard deviation=7.06.8mg kg1). Similarly, Duthil (1983) have also reported that mean HMF content of different honey samples ranged from 5.47 to 5.95 mg kg-1.

Water insoluble materials: For most consumers, good quality honey is expected to be visually free of defect, clean and clear. Honey which has a very high pollen content appears cloudy, and the presence of many other contaminations such as particles of wax, dead bees, splinters of wood, and dust certainly does make it look unappetizing and unappealing for anyone to buy and consume, and hence it appears as if it's of very low value. Based on that the water insoluble mater content of locally produced honey sample ranged between 0.01 to 13.82 gm /100gm. When the result was compared with the international quality standard maximum of 0.1 gm/100gm, only 16 samples was fit the standard from 36 samples, the remaining 20 honey samples were score above the standard. That shows as it was observed during the survey study the way of farmers handling and storing the product (in jar made from clay, kil container made of cucumber, small tasa, plastic bag (sack of fertilizer), plastic jar and animal skin bag) after harvesting is very poor, so that the product is simply contaminated.

Based on the comparison of honey quality between two localities, there is a significant differences (p < 0.05) was observed in moisture content and free acidity of honey samples in the district when sample from farmers compared to market samples, but no significance difference (p>0.05) was observed with the remaining parameters (Table 14).This result indicates that moisture content of honey at farmer level is probably increasing due to harvesting of un ripened honey and improper storage condition which increase the moisture content of honey.


Table14: Least square means and standard errors for honey quality parameter which are collected from farmer and local market.


MC = Moisture content RS = Sugar reducing

Sample from farmers 22.650.27a 4.641.92 0.200.04 20.443.10 5.564.87 3.800.03 67.830.59 5.680.55
WI = Water insoluble SU = Sucrose

Sample from market 17.380.20b 1.571.00 0.250.03 36.031.56b 1.160.45 3.820.05 68.020.76 9.433.99
FA = free acidity HMF = Hydroxyl methyl furfural

Means in a row having different superscript are statistically different at P<0.05

In addition to international quality standard, Correlations among different parameters for honey quality was also determined and the results are given below. Based on that only few parameters were significantly correlated at 1% and 5% significance level. Positive and highly significant relation ships were recorded between ash and pH, ash and water insoluble materials and pH and water insoluble materials. Negative and highly significant relation ships were also recorded between moisture content and free acidity, reducing sugar and ash. A slight negative significant relation ship was seen between reducing sugar and water insoluble materials but the remaining parameters were have a weak relation ship.(Table 15).


Table15: Correlations for the pair wise honey sample result of different quality parameters MC MC pH RS Su FA Ash HMF WI **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). MC= Moisture content RS = Reducing sugar SU = Sucrose content FA = Free acidity
HMF = Hydroxymethyl furfural

pH -0.106 -

RS 0.046 -0.231 -

SU -0.181 0.168 -0.032 -

FA -0.435** 0.088 -0.148 0.059. -

Ash -0.232 0.497** -0.537** -0.039 0.325 -

HMF 0.132 -0.391 0.311 -0.064 -0.195 -0.208 -

WI 0.081 0.451** -0.386* -0.066 -0.320 0.556** -0.198 -

Form this result we can conclude that for those parameters positively correlated, as the content of one parameter increase the other parameter content has also increased (water insoluble material and pH, pH and Ash) because of the nature of there chemical composition the presence of one factor enhance the presence of the other factor. Likewise for those negatively correlated parameters the presence of one factor reduces the existence of the other factor (MC and FA, WI and RS).

4.7. Market structure/marketing channel

In this study, different honey marketing participants were identified. Honey marketing participants in the study area includes producers/farmers, honey collectors/assemblers, retailers and final consumers of the product.

Producers: Producers/farmers sell their honey to different buyers at village or district market center. The market place that is the closest to the residence of the farmers is the first choice with regard to minimization of transportation costs and less bargaining power by farmers due


to individual marketing because of little amount of honey product, lack of information on honey marketing at other sites.

Honey collector: The honey collectors found in the study area purchased the honey produce directly from farmers in a small village markets for resell to other collectors, retailers, and consumers who come from different areas of the region at the district market center.

Retailers: There are shops and other retailers who sell large amount of product and sell it to consumers in small units. These are the final link in the channel that delivered honey to end users, since there were no processors in the study district. The majority of honey retailers found at the woreda centers have their own small stores and retail shops. Consumers: From the consumers point of view, the shorter the marketing chain, the more likely is the retail price going to be affordable. Consumers for this particular study mean those households who bought and consume honey. They are individual households who are buying the commodity for their own consumption also for making Tej. According to Mendoza (1995), marketing channel is the sequence through which the whole of honey passes from farmers to consumers. The analysis of marketing channel is intended to provide a systematic knowledge of the flow of the goods and services from their origin (produce) to the final destination (consumer).Therefore, during the survey, the following honey marketing channels were observed (Fig.9). I. Producer (Farmers) - consumers (39.6%) II. Producer (Farmers) - honey collectors- consumers (10.4%) III. Producer (Farmers) - retailers- consumers (10%) IV. Producer (Farmers) - honey collectors- retailers- consumers (5%) V. producer (Farmers) honey collector Tej houses consumers (15%) VI. Producer (Farmers) - Tej houses consumers (20%)


Honey Producers

Honey Collectors

Honey Retailers

Tej Houses

Local Consumers

Fig.9. Honey market channel of the study area

In the area, the price of honey subjected to fluctuation with highest price in the dry seasons especially during wedding time, holiday, cultural ceremonies and also during wet seasons (June to August) the period when there was no honey production. The lowest price was reported during honey harvesting time (October to November, January to March and May). Almost all farmers have at least one market center where to buy or sale their honey, or else they sold at there vicinity for consumers and beverage (Tej) makers with low price. Because of high transportation costs and less bargaining power by farmers due to individual marketing. Based on this, the average price of one kg crude and table honey were different from each other (15.61 and 21.12 ETB) respectively (Table 16). And also there were a price difference in terms of honey colour (white honey is higher by two to four birr/kg than read honey). When different localities (kebeles) were compared in terms of honey price per kilogram for crude honey there was non significant difference was observed (P>0.05), while for table honey there was a slight significance difference (P<0.05).This difference might be due to the quality of there product in relation to the way they stained the honey and the physical appearance was also unattractive due to impurities.


Table 16: Least square means and standard errors for honey price of different localities in the study area Name of Kebeles Price of crude Honey KK OB OG BUL KS QOTA Total 16.900.57 16.700.76 14.301.05 14.701.27 14.701.11 16.400.37 15.610.42 Price of table honey 20.400.52ab 20.700.63a b 19.300.70b 21.300.82 ab 22.500.87a 22.500.87a 21.120.30
KS= Koye Seja

Means in a column having different superscript are statistically different at P<0.05

KK=Kilole Kirkir OB=Omo Beko OG=Omo Gurude BUL= Bulbulo

When asked to evaluate the local market price, the beekeepers replied that it is intrinsically connected to supply, as demand appears to remain relatively constant throughout the year. It is lowest soon after harvesting season (15ETB). Periodically, the price rises in the months following the harvesting season (30 ETB) and finally the product disappears from the local market. Annual income generated by respondent beekeeper The annual gross income of respondents from the sale of honey in the study area ranged from Birr 100 to Birr 8,400. As shown in (Table 17), the maximum proportion (46.11%) of sample respondents earned an annual gross income of between 100 to 2,100 Birr and about 38.33% of sample households obtained 2,101 to 4,200 Birr. On the other hand, very few respondents (3.89%) obtained annual income of above 6,301 Birr. Likewise, the mean annul gross income per household during the survey time was about Birr 2,634.70, which showed great potential of honey for income generation by farmers. In the same woreda IPMS (2007) report that adopters of improved apiculture technologies produced in 2008, on average, about ETB 2,400 of honey per year compared to ETB 225 by traditional beekeepers.


Table 17: Distribution of sample farmers by annual total gross income earned from the sale of honey

KK Income Category ( n = 30 ) N 100 2100 2101 4200 4201 6300 > 6301 Mean income (birr) 9 19 1 1 % 30 63.34 3.33 3.33

OB ( n = 30 ) n 6 19 3 2 % 20 63.34 10 6.66

OG ( n = 30 ) n 2 13 11 4 % 6.67 43.33 36.67 13.33

BL ( n = 30 ) n 17 11 2 % 56.67 36.67 6.66 -

KS ( n = 30 ) n 25 4 1 % 83.33 13.33 3.34 -

QT ( n = 30 ) n 24 3 3 % 80 10 10 -

Total ( n = 180 ) n 83 69 21 7 % 46.11 38.33 11.67 3.89 2,634.70

n = it refers number of respondents. KK=Kilole Kirkir OB=Omo Beko OG=Omo Gurude BUL= Bulbulo


4.8. Opportunities and challenges in beekeeping development of Gomma woreda

4.8.1 Opportunities for sustainable beekeeping

According to the respondents, the major opportunities for bee keeping in Gomma woreda include existence and abundance of honeybee, availability of potential flowering plants, ample sources of water for bees, beekeepers' experience and practices, socio economic value (value accorded to bee products by the people of that area), marketing situation of bee products, establishments of Ethiopian Beekeeping Association (EBA), the presence of governmental and non- governmental organizations(IPMS) who are involved in beekeeping activities was given the district farmers the opportunity to access improved technologies and capacity building (training on apiculture). This institutional support will give a good opportunity to create increasing demand for honey and competitive market in the region and to promote export of hive products, which will in turn result in endogenous technological change and overall development in the sub-sector for the district. The result is in agreement with Crane (1990), Ayalew (1994) and EARO (2000).

Honeybee plants

Vegetation characteristics of the study areas are considered to be an important indicator for potentialities of the area for beekeeping. According to the results of this survey, the honeybee plants of the study area comprise trees, shrubs, herbs and cultivated crops which are a source of nectar and pollen. Some important honeybee plants of the study areas were recorded in vernacular (common) and scientific names with their flowering periods (Table 18).

Beekeeping is more dependable on ecological suitability of an area than any other livestock production (Nuru, 2002). He also noted that, the honeybee population and their productivities in general are mainly influenced by the nature of honeybee flora of an area. The resources supplied by plants are important sources of nectar, pollen and Propolis,


some are also important for hive construction while others used in local procedures for scenting new hives to attract swarms.

The honeybee flora compositions of Gomma Woreda are perennial crops (especially Coffee), annual herbs, and some natural trees having significant contribution for beekeeping. This variation in vegetation characteristics of the area could be potentially suitable for effective distribution of honey production at various seasons. The annual honey production in study area comes from Bisana (Croton macrostachys) which usually flowers from May - June and Grawa / Ebicha (Vernonia sp.) which usually flowers from Feb. - March. Some farmers explain that honey produced in March-April is usually mixed with honey from coffee flower, particularly in areas near to the large state coffee farms. Some farmers say that when hives are placed very near to a coffee farm, honey from that hive could totally be from coffee flower. This has distinct color and thickness compared to honey from Grawa (Vernonia spp.) and this could be an area to look for specialty of honey. Similarly IPMS intervention at Gomma woreda revealed that a related types of bee flora species.


Table 18: List of some major honeybee floras in the study areas

Botanical Name Trees Eucalyptus sp. Cordia africana Acacia sp. Sterospermum kunthianum Croton macrostachys Ficus vasta Schinus molle Schefflera abyssinica Ekbergia capensis Malva verticillata Albizia gumifera Shrubs and herbs Vernonia amygadalina Trifolium sp. Bidens species Horticultural Crops Persea americana Mangifra indica Musa paradisca Field crops Coffea Arabica Zea mays

Vernacular or Common Name

Flowering Period

Eucalyptus / Bargamo Wanza / Wadessa Grar / Lafto Botero Besana / Bakanissa Warka / kiltu Turi man tturi Geteme Sombo Dkma Sasa

March - April Jan. - July March - September Dec. Feb. May. - June Oct. Dec. Sep. - Dec. March - April Sept. Nov. Not known Jan.- April Dec. Feb. July Oct. August Oct. Sept. Dec. Sept Dec. Sept. Oct. April May Sept. Oct.

Grawa / Ebicha Clover / sidissa Meskel /Ababo meskela

Avocado Mango Banana

Coffee Maize

4.8.2 Challenges to beekeeping in the study areas

Based on the result of this study, beekeepers have encountered with a number of difficulties and challenges that are antagonistic with the success desired in honey


production. Major problems in beekeeping arise from bee characteristics or environmental factors that are beyond the control of the beekeepers, while others have to do with poor marketing infrastructure and storage facilities. After having identified the major problems facing the beekeeping activities, farmers were requested to list their priority in order of importance. According to the response of the beekeepers and available information the major challenges of the beekeepers, other than unpleasant nature of bees and technical shortcomings, are detailed in Table 19. This has lead to poor quality honey production and inefficient utilization of the modern bee hives distributed. Because of lack of knowledge on application of chemicals against ants, some farmers complained their bee hives are being affected. Despite the high rainfall in the area, some times bees migrate during drought period.

There is no technical support on this sector in the woreda, because the SMS who was responsible for apiculture is no more working fulltime but is transferred to be an animal production expert. This has been more of a structural problem in the Oromiya region because the SMSs working in apiculture are considered as low profession and move to other departments for a better salary (IPMS, 2007).

Table 19: Major constraints identified by respondent beekeepers in the study woredas Constraint Lack of knowledge(Lack of know-how) Pest and predator Lack of beekeeping equipment/or high price Honey market problem Lack of bee forage associated with deforestation Absconding Application of chemicals Disease Poor storage facilities Poor extension service Others Total Percent of beekeepers who experience constraints 32.2 28.9 10.5 9.4 8.9 4.4 2.8 1.1 0.6 0.6 0.6 100


Some details of the selected constraints are discussed below.

a) Honey bee pests, predators and diseases

Based on the result of this study, the existence of pests was a major challenge to the honeybees and beekeepers. After having identified the major pests facing the beekeeping activities, farmers were requested to rank them and the result indicated that ants, wax moth (Galleria mellonella), bee-eater birds, spider, bee lice (Braula coecal), honey badger (Mellivora capensis), monkey, small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) and lizard were the most harmful pests in order of decreasing importance (Table 20). Similar results were observed in the central highlands of Ethiopia (Desalegn, 2001) and also by Solomon (2009) in the highlands of south east Ethiopia.

Based on the results of this survey, 52.1 percent of sample respondents had observed ants in their hive. The beekeepers recognized that their bees could suffer from ants which result in death of adult honeybees in the hive and absconding of bee colony. The next most serious one is honeybee wax moth (25 %). The beekeepers recognized that their bees could suffer from pests like wax moth (Galleria mellonella) which results in distraction of honey comb in the hive. However, the beekeepers did not known the real causes. Some beekeepers also responded as if they observed brood disease, which results in bad smell of the hive and formation of worms. But the real reason is wax moth is known to affect the bees comb through its larvae with which the beekeepers get confused worms formed due to disease.


Table 20: Percent and ranks of major pests and predators Major pest and predator Ants Wax moth Bee lice Beetles Spiders Wasps Prey mantis Lizard Birds Hamagot /shelemetmat/ Monkey Snake Total sample (n=120) % 52.1 25 1.2 1.7 1.9 1.7 1.7 .8 4.4 8.3 .7 .5

Rank 1 2 7 6 5 6 6 8 4 3 9 10

b) Poisonous nectar and pollen sources

During this survey, beekeepers were interviewed if they know poisonous plants in their localities. Only experienced beekeepers listed few poisonous plants. These can be plants whose nectar or pollen is toxic to the bees themselves, and those in which the honey produced from their nectar are toxic to humans. Fortunately, there are relatively few such plants reported in the study areas and similarly Nuru (2002) reported some poisonous bee plants from Northern regions of Ethiopia, and pollen grains of nine poisonous species of bee plants from the families Ranuculaceae, Solanaceae, Acanthacae, Euphorbiaceae and Phytolacaceae were analyzed and documented. Keralem (2005) also noted that Gumero, Yeferenj Digit (Cassia siamea), Bisan (Croton macrostachyus), Iret (Aloe brahana), Foch (Zizyphus mucronata), Endod (Phytolacca dodecandra) and Susbania species are suspected as bees poisonous plant.

Plants that are generally considered to be toxic to bees and humans or suspected in the study areas by the respondents are: Nimi tree (Azadirachta indica), Dima (Cotinus coggygrla) and Maize flower (suspected by few respondents) (Appendix Fig. 3.). The knowledge of beekeeper regarding the damage caused by poisonous bee plants on honeybees was comparatively very limited. Only deaths of field bees were reported under


or around the suspected 'plants'. However, there is no evidence whether plant products or pesticide applications poisoned the bees.

C) Incidence of absconding and migration

Honeybee colonies abandoned their hives at any season of the year for different reasons. According to the response of the respondents, 70.0 % of absconding incidence of honeybee colonies was recorded in traditional hives. The incidence from top bar and frame hives were 10% and 20% respectively. The reported reasons for absconding of bee colonies as indicated by respondents were incidence of pests and predators (50%), Harvesting of the entire honey (15.5%), hive sanitation problem (11.2%), bad weather condition (10.6%) bee diseases (5.5%) and other factors (7.2 %). According to the respondents, migration of bee colonies occurred from March to May ranks first (63.3%) followed by June to August (26.7%), September to November (5.6%) and December to February (4.4%). From the results of this survey, one can associate the cause of migration from March to May (63.3%) with drought due to high temperature, which has contributed about 25% of the share from the reasons of migration. Similar study reveal that there was absconding and migration immediately following the main honey fallow season and continued throughout the dry season (mainly from October-March) up to the next active period (Tesfaye and Tesfaye, 2007).



Based on the result of this survey people in the most productive age are actively engaged in beekeeping activities with having a moderate experience of beekeeping. For most of the beekeepers, source of bee colony was from swarm caching (87.8%). That shows there was an availability of bee colony in the study area. Based on the results of these survey three types of honeybee production systems were identified, namely: (1) Traditional beekeeping systems, (2) Movable comb top-bar (MCTB) beekeeping systems and (3) Movable frame beekeeping system. Majority of the beekeepers were engaged in traditional beekeeping practices (41.5%), 50.5% are both traditional and improved and 8% are both Traditional and transitional beekeeping. As the trend of the past five years beekeeping practice showed that number of bee colonies and honey yield were increasing from year to year. This increment was may be due to favorable weather condition, increment of beekeeping participant, and introduction of both transitional and box hives, a slight improvement of extension serves and indirectly the increment of honey price.

Beekeeping in the study areas is dominantly a man's occupation and there were only few women beekeepers were involved. However, women play a significant role in the marketing of products and in the preparation of secondary products. The study woreda has adequate natural resources and a long tradition and culture of beekeeping. However, mainly because of lack of technological changes, institutional supports and access to market and value chain development, the woreda in general and the rural beekeepers in particular have not been sufficiently benefiting from the sub sector. Yet, despite all the constraints and challenges currently facing the beekeeping subsector, there are still enormous opportunities and potentials to boost the production and quality of honey production in the woreda. This was reflected by the various indigenous knowledge practices, diverse distribution of honeybee floras, and the presence of governmental and non- governmental organizations who are involved in beekeeping activities.

The major constraints to exploit the untapped potential of beekeeping activity in the district are high price of beekeeping equipment, lack of knowledge regarding colony 59

management, incidence of pest and diseases. Majority of the beekeepers follow traditional colony management, harvesting and processing methods to produce honey and most are not in use.

As far as market price of the study areas are concerned, when different localities (kebeles) were compared in terms of honey price per kilogram for crude honey there was non significant difference observed (P>0.05), while significance difference (P<0.05) was observed for table honey. This difference is may be due to the quality of there product in relation to the way they strained the honey and the physical appearance may be unattractive due to impurities. Likewise, the mean annul gross income per household during the survey time was about Birr 2,634.70. This showed a need for various strategies remaining to utilize the production potential of the area.

According to this survey, movable comb top-bar (MCTB) and movable frame hives resulted in higher honey production per colony (14.700.62 and 23.370.73 kg/hive respectively) compared with local hives. From this analysis, homemade MCTB hive seems financially feasible than movable frame hive. This is because homemade MCTB hive was constructed with lower cost (150ETB) from locally available materials and gives relatively similar yield of honey compared with workshops made MCTB hives (500ETB). On the other hand, from this survey it can be concluded that the traditional hive production system was economically affordable and appropriate system for the rural areas that makes relatively good use of locally available resources. The system is characterized by a low inputs and low output level. This system can be economically efficient because although the output from the individual colony is low, the inputs are even lower or virtually non- existent.

Almost all samples of honey examined were within the acceptable range of world and national quality standard in terms of moisture content, pH, Ash, total reducing sugar, sucrose, acidity & estimation of Hydroxymethyl furfural except for water insoluble material which is poor compared to the standard. From this we can conclude that lack of


appropriate handling during harvesting and inappropriate storage condition can increase the impurity of the product.

Generally, the following possible recommendations can be drawn from this study; 1. Strengthening the extension activity of the area in bee keeping to exploit the potential of the area. 2. Conduct training on beekeeping and its management (including pests and diseases management, bee forage development, colony management, honey harvesting, extraction, processing, etc.), quality control and link model beekeepers with big traders, exporters and processing factories. 3. Conduct study on the existing apiculture input supply system to develop innovative methods of input supply system in study woreda. 4. Honeybee diseases & pests which were explained locally by farmers should be confirmed by scientific research. 5. Further studies shall be under taken for confirming species diversity, structure and composition of honey bee flora and poisonous plant to bees. 6. Most beekeepers and local traders lack adequate financial resources to invest on improved honey production technologies, storage, processing facilities and packaging. Thus, proper market link & credit facility should be available to individuals who are willing to be organized and involve in the production, collection, processing, packing and marketing of honey and other hive products.



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Appendix 1. Plates Used in the Study

Appendix plate 1. Modern beehive surrounded by grasses and shrubs in the study area


Appendix plate 2 Modern beehive covered by wood and plastic materials

Appendix plate 3. Suspected Honey bee Poisonous plant

Dima (Cotinus coggygrla)


Nimi tree (Azadirachta indica) Appendix 2. Questionnaire Used in the Study JIMMA UNIVERSITY COLEGE OF AGRICLTURE AND VETERNARY MEDICINE (JUCAVM) SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES HONEY PRODUCTION, MARKETING SYSTEM AND QUALITY ASSESSMENT QUESTIONER Introduction 1. Introduce yourself before starting the interview. Tell the respondents politely from where you came and the purpose of the study. 2. Use pencil. 3. Put a circle mark for the alternative questioners. I. Data to be collected from the woreda office 1. General 1.1. Region ------------- 1.2.Zone-------------------- 1.3. Wereda -------------------1.4. Number of peasant associations. ---------------1.5.Total number of house hold in the woreda. A. Male -------------b. Female--------------c. Total ----------------


1.6. What are the total numbers of house hold who are beekeepers in the woreda? a. Male ------------b. Female ---------------c. Total ------------------

1.7. The total number of bee hives in the woreda. a. Traditional hives----------------b. Transitional hives------------------c. Modern hives ----------------------e. Total ------------------1.8. Total honey production per year/hive in average (Kg). i. From modern hive. a. 1-5 kg b.5-10 kg ii. From transitional hive. a. 1-5 kg b. 5-10 kg c. 10-15 kg d.>15 iii. From traditional hive. a. 1-5 kg b. 5-10 kg c. 10-15 kg d.>15 1.9. What is the honey yield status of the past five years of the wereda? a.1997--------kg e. 2001 ----------kg II. Data to be Collected from Peasant Association of the Woreda 1. General 1.1 Name of Peasant association ( PA) -----------------------------------------1.2 Name of the respondent/beekeeper------------------------- ---------------------------1.3 Sex 1.4 Age 1. Male 2. Female b. 1998 ---------kg c.1999 ------------kg d. 2000-------kg c. 10-15 kg d. > 15



1.5 House hold member a. Male-------- b. Female------------- c. Total --------------1.6 Level of education of a house holed a. Illiterate d. 5-8 e. 9-12 f. above12 2. Crop production 2.1 Land holding in hek. 2.1.1 Total land holding per house hoed-----hek. 2.1.2 Size of land for farming ------hek. 2.1.3 2.1.4 covered by forest--------hek. for grazing ---------hek. b. Basic education c. 1-4

2.1.5 Others ------hek.

2.2 Major crop production No Types of crop 1 Annual 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2 Perennial 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Total Land size(he) Yield (kun) Purpose of production Consumption For For seed sale Others For livestock

3. Beekeeping activities, potentials and honey crop harvesting


3.1 Do you keep honey bees?

1 yes

2. No

3.1.1 If yes when did you start beekeeping? ------------year(s) before. 3.2 How you start beekeeping? No 1 2 3 4 sources From parents Catching swarms Buying Others(specify) Quantity Traditional transitional Movable-frame

3.2.1 If the answer for question buying. Is there a sale of bee colony in your locality? 1. Yes 2. No If yes what is the price of one colony? -----------ETB.

3.3 How many honey bee colonies you owned? No 1 2 3 4 5 years 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Tradition Product(kg) Transitional No Product(kg) Movable-frame No Product(kg) Total prodn


3.4 What are the sources and costs of the bee hives you used? No 1 2 3 4 items Constructed by himself/herself Constructed locally & bought Bought from market Supplied by governments -On credit bases -Free of charge Supplied by NGOs -On credit bases -Free of charges Price of one hive ( ETB) Service years Traditional Transitional Movable-frame

6 7


3.5 What are the major materials used for hive construction in the study area. a. from bark of tree c. from mud b. from clay d. from straw made e. others

3.6 What are the major advantages of your different beehives?

No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Variables Material availability Suitability to harvest Quality of honey Temperature maintenance More swarming frequency Convenience to construct Durability Cost effective Others (specify) Traditional Yes No Transitional Yes No Movable-frame Yes No

3.7 What preconditions are performed before hanging the hive for:a. Traditional hives i. Sealing by mud ii. Smoking iii. Fumigating v. Others specify

vi. Rubbing the hive with good smell leaf b. Transitional hives i. Fumigating

ii. Smoking the hive with good smell iv. Sealing by mud

iii. Rubbing with good odor tree leaf v. Others specify c. Improved-frame i. Sealing by mud iii. Smoking the hive with good smell

ii. Fumigating iv. Others specify

3.7.1 What is the use of this preconditions mentioned in no 3.7. a. To keep sanitation c. For fumigation b. To attract the swarming colony d. If other specify -----------------75

3.8 Where did you keep your bee colonies? No 1 2 3 4 5 Site or placement of hive Back yard Under the eaves of the house Inside the house Hanging on trees near homestead Hanging on trees in forests Traditional Transitional Movable-frame

3.9 For how many years your colony remains or stays in the hive? 1. Traditional: Minimum ---------year(s) Maximum -----------year(s) 2. Transitional: Minimum ---------year(s) Maximum --------year(s) 3. Movable-frame: Minimum -------year(s) Maximum -------year(s) 3.10 If there is an increase in trend in number of bee colonies and honey yield over the years, what are the causes? a. Good market price c. Use of new technologies b. Increment of bee colonies d. improvement of management practices

e. Others (specify) ----------------------------------------------------------3.11 If there is a decrease in trend in the number of bee colonies and honey yields over the year, what are the causes in order of importance? No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Causes Lack of bee forage Lack of water Drought (lack of rainfall) Migration Absconding Pest and predator Disease Pesticides& herbicides application Death of colony Decrease in price of Honey Increased cost of production Others (specify) Rank Season of Occurrence Measures taken

3.11.1 What is the reason for absconding of bee colonies? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


3.11.2 If drought is a problem for question no 3.11 how is its frequency of occurrence? Every-----------------------------year(s) 3.12 The major types of tree species preferred for hanging of hives. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Scientific name Local name Reason of preferred

3.13 The average number of bee hive to be hanged per tree is:c. > 10 3.14 What are the types of bee species found in the study area? No 1 2 3 4 Scientific Name Local Name

a. <5

b. 5 10

3.15 What type of techniques is used to capture the swarming colony? a. By dispersing dust onto swarming colony. b. By dispersing water onto swarming colony. c. By hanging hives on branches of tree. d. mention the other means. 3.16 From where do you harvest honey? a. From hunting b. From Traditional hives c. From Transitional hives


d. From movable-frame 3.17 How many times honey is harvested /year? a. One b. Two c. Three d. More than three

3.18 Mention honey harvesting seasons? A. July - Sept. b. Oct. Dec. c. Jan. - March d. April June e. If other ----------------

3.19 Honey production per hive/year. No 1 2 3 Types of hive Traditional Transitional Modern unit Kg Kg Kg Maximum/hive Minimum /hive Average

3.20 Is there any fluctuation of honey harvesting period? a. Yes b. No a. Drought b. High Temperature

3.20.1 If yes what is the possible reason? c. High rainfall

d. Others (specify) -------------

3.21 What type of equipments is used for honey harvesting? (Circle one or more) a. For traditional hives iii. Bee brush b. For Transitional hives iii. Bee brush c. For Modern hives. iii. Bee brush i. Protective cloth iv. Knife i. Protective cloth iv. Uncapping fork/knife i. Protective cloth ii. Smoker v. If other----------ii. Smoker v. Chisel vi. Other-----------

ii. Smoker v. Chisel vi. If other--------

iv. Uncapping fork/ knife

3.22 What types of containers are used for honey collection and storage? a. Plastic barrel/jar b. clay jar c. Metallic container d. Other specify--------1. Yes 2. No

3.23 Do you strain your honey?


3.23.1 If yes, how?

a. by boiling

b. by squeezing c. Others (specify) -------------1. Yes 2. No

3.24 Do you extract your honey?

3.24.1 If yes, how do you extract your honey which is harvested from different bee hives? a. by honey extractor b. by honey presser c. other (specify) ------------

3.24.2 If your answer for question No 3.24 is No, why? a. Lack of materials b. Lack of knowledge how to extract

c. Consumer do not prefer strained honey d. The amount of honey will be reduced if extracted 3.25 For how long do you store honey? (Circle one or more) a. I dont store. I will sale/ it will be consumed during harvesting. b. One to Six months d. One year to two years c. seven to twelve month e. more than two years. e. Others (specify) ------------

3.26 If your honey is granulated or crystallized, did you change it to viscous honey? 1. Yes 2. No a. Direct heating using fire d. Others -------------------------

3.26.1 If yes, what methods do you use? b. Putting in boiled water c. Using sun light

3.27 How do you rate the quality of your honey? a. by color d. by testing b. by smelling e. by its thickness c. by its odor f. other method specify

3.28 What type of other bee product do you obtained? a. Beeswax b. propolis c. royal jelly d. Bee venom e. pollen f. Bee brood

3.29 What is the major honey bee plant species found in the study area? No Plant Scientific Name Local Name 79 Flowering Colour of honey

type 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


produced from

3.30 Which plant species mentioned in no 3.29 are more visited by honey bees? a. ---------------------------c. ----------------------------e. --------------------------b. --------------------------d. ---------------------------f. -----------------------------etc

3.31 The honey from which plant species are more preferred among consumers?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3.32 Is there any plant species which are toxic for bees in the study area? a. Yes b. No

3.32.1 If yes mention some of them. Scientific Name a. --------------------------------b. --------------------------------c. ---------------------------------Local Name ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 Yes 2.No

3.33 Does water available for your honey bees at all the time?

3.33.1 If yes, where do your honey bees get water? (Circle one or more) a. Streams b. rivers c. lakes d. ponds e. water harvesting structure f. others -----

3.33.2 If your response is No, how do you provide water to your bee colonies? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------4. Colony characteristics and management


4.1 What are the characteristic features of your honey bees? a. Behavior: b. Color: c. Size: 1. Docile 1. Black 1. Big 2. Aggressive 2. Red 2. Medium 3.Grey 3. Small b. Color 2. No c. Size 3. Very aggressive 4. Mixture

4.2 Which one is productive? a. Behavior 4.3 Do you inspect your colony? 1. Yes

4.3.1 If yes, which type of inspection you perform? a. External hive inspection b. Internal hive inspection 4.4 Frequency of inspection a. external hive inspection : (circle one or more) i. Frequently ii. Sometimes iii. Rarely c. Both

b. Internal hive inspection: (circle one or more) i. Frequently ii. Sometimes iii. Rarely

4.5 When the following major activities occur in your locality? No 1 2 3 4 Major activities Brood rearing period Dearth period Colony migration Absconding Season(s) of occurrence Dec.- Feb. March- May


June- Aug.

5. Swarming 5.1 Does swarming occur in your colonies or localities? 5.1.1 If your response is yes what is the frequency? a. Every season b. Every year c. once in a year e. twice a year 1. Yes 2. No

5.2 What are the common seasons for swarming of honey bee colonies?


a. September - December

b. January April 1. Yes

c. May - August 2. No

5.3 Is there swarming advantageous to you? 5.3.1 If yes describe the reason(s) a. To increase my number of colony

b. To sale and get income d. Others (specify) 1. Yes 2. No

c. To replace non- productive bee colonies 5.4 Do you control/prevent swarming?

5.4.1 What methods do you use to control swarming? a. Removal of queen cells c. Cutting of drown comb e. Using large volume hive b. Cutting of honey comb d. Supering f. Others (specify) --------------1. Yes 2. No

5.5 Do you practice migratory bee keeping?

5.5.1 If yes what the reason for migratory beekeeping? a. Crop pollination c. For better forage resource b. More honey production d. Disease control

e. Agrochemical prevention. 5.6 When do you bring back your colony? (Circle one or more) a. Sep. Nov. b. Dec. Feb. c. Mar. - May d. June Aug. 1. Yes 2. No

5.7 Do you feed honey bee colonies?

5.7.1 If yes when do you feed your honey bee colonies (months) -----------------5.8 What kind of feed you offer to your honey bees? No 1 2 3 4 5 Type of feed Besso Shiro Sugar syrup Honey Others (specify) Amount of offered/season/colony Costs per kg (ETB)


6. Beekeeping constraints and protections 6.1 What are the major constraints of beekeeping in your area? a. Drought (due to lack of rainfall) b. Lack of bee forage associated with deforestation c. Pests and predators d. Pesticide poisoning e. Lack of swarms (low hive occupation rate) g. Lack of beekeeping equipment and materials i. Diseases of honey bees l. Shortage of beehives f. Absconding h. Lack of water

j. Marketing problems k. Poor storage facilities m. Lack of knowledge n. Others. ----------------

6.2 What are the possible traditional solutions taken by the beekeeper? For each problem mentioned on question no 6.1? a. Offering water and sugar syrup during drought and feed shortage. b. For the lack of honey bee equipment, using local materials c. Plantation of flowering plant around the apiary site. d. Use of ash dust around beehive stand for some pests. e. others (specifies). ---6.3 Is there any bee diseases in the study area? 1. Yes 2. No

6.3.1 If yes what are they? -------------------------------------------------------------------6.3.2 What are the traditional means of protection for question no 6.3 for each problem? a. hive disinfection c. cleaning of the apiary site b. hive cleaning d. other means (specify) -----------------

6.4 In which category of hives your colonies do more likely affected by the disease? a. Traditional b. transitional c. movable-frame

6.5 What are the major pests & predators found in the area that threat your colonies? List in order of importance? No 1 2 Pest/predator Ants Wax moth Rank Local control methods


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Bee lice Beetles Spiders Wasps Prey mantis Toads Lizard Snake Monkey Birds Hamagot/Shelemetmat Others(specify) 1. Yes 2. No

6.6 Do you use agrochemicals/chemicals in your locality? 6.6.1 If yes, why do you apply agrochemicals/chemicals? a. Crop pest control d. Tsetse fly control b. Weeds control

c. Malaria control

e. Others (specify) -----------------------

6.7 When do you use agrochemicals/chemicals (months)? -----------------------------------6.8 What type of agrochemicals/chemicals are you using? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6.9 Do agrochemicals/chemicals affect your honey bees? 1. Yes 2. No

6.10 What is the estimated honey you lose due to the application of agrochemicals /chemicals? --------------kg. And what will be the estimated price? --------------ETB. 6. Marketing condition 7.1 Did you sale or consume the honey you produced? a. Consume 7.1.1 If you sale, where you do sale? a. at home for local beverage maker c. at urban market 7.2 Who are your customers? a. Traders b. Beverage (Tej) makers c. consumer d. processors b. at local market d. if other mention b. sale c. both


7.3 In what form did you sale?

a. strained

b. crude.

C. table honey

7.4 What is the price of honey per Kg? a. crude honey. ---------- (ETB) b. Table honey. ------------- (ETB)

7.5 Which honey color is more preferable by consumers on the market? a. white b. dark brown c. red d. deep yellow e. light yellow f. other

7.6 What is the annual income from sale of hive product and bee colonies? No 1 2 3 4 Type of product Honey Beeswax Prop lies Bee colonies Quantity Unit price Total

7.7 What are the factors that govern the price of the honey in your locality? a. Seasons of the year c. Distance from market b. Colors and taste of honey d. Traditional ceremonies e. Others (specify). -----------

7.8 How do you evaluate the local market price? A. High b. Medium c. Low a. Yes a, Yes b. No b. No

7.9 Is there beekeeping cooperatives around your area? 7.10 If yes, are you the member of the association?

7.11 If No, why?--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7.11.1 If your answer is No, for question no 7.9, do you want to establish beekeeping cooperatives? a. Yes b. No Compiler Name ------------------------------------------- Signature ---------------Date ----------- Time -------Duration: starting time ------------Ending time -------------