More bee farmers needed in St Mary
PRESIDENT of St Mary Bee Farmers Association in Orange River in the parish, Patrick Haywood, is urging more Jamaicans to become a part of the bee-keeping industry.
Haywood, who spoke with the Jamaica Observer North East at the St Mary Creative Arts and Skills Festival at Claude Stewart Park two Fridays ago, said the association provides the technical support bee farmers need.
He said the association also offers training at the Orange River base where there are two apiaries.
An apiary, also known as a bee yard, is a place where beehives of honey bees are kept.
“Apart from providing training at our base, we visit our members,” Haywood said, noting that there are approximately 40 registered bee farmers in the parish.
“We want more people to get involved because we provide training free of cost,” the president added.
He stressed the need for more bee farmers in the parish, explaining that oftentimes, farmers are not able to meet the demand for honey. He said farmers underproduce because of factors such as the weather.
Haywood outlined a number of factors important for bee farming, listing among them location, proper drainage and a need for vegetation.
These, he said, would allow for a “productive” hive. Haywood said this would entail 60,000 workers, one queen, and 3,000 drones.