JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture is currently conducting a census of the bee industry, aimed at providing relevant data for further development and future planning. Reginald Peddy, Chief Apiculture Officer at the Apiculture Unit at Bodles Research Station in St. Catherine, informed JIS News that teams have been in the field for the last week and a half gathering information. “They are collecting data from farmers and we would hope that every bee farmer will be as honest as possible to give the relevant data to these persons, so that we can make the necessary moves and we can plan for further development of the industry,” he said.
Mr. Peddy said the officers are expected to complete the census within the next two weeks. The last survey of the industry was done in 1997.
He said the census would provide a better understanding of what was happening in the bee keeping industry. “This is to see how much is invested in the industry. We are trying to see what the honey production level is like, how many people depend on bee keeping, the age group and such data like these,” he informed JIS News.
Mr. Peddy also noted that the data, when compiled, would be used for future planning. “You can’t plan unless you know what is there on the ground and what you are working with, and so we would like to know what we are working with from a scientific basis,” he said.
Bee farmers are being urged to co-operate with those persons conducting the census. “A number of bee keepers have been calling in to ask why these people are asking questions, and we take time out to respond to them and to ask them to co-operate as best as possible,” he added.
The bee farmers association, he said, would have their annual general meeting in Montego Bay on July 14 at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) parish office, and the importance of the census would be high on the agenda.