An analysis of activities of bee hunters and beekeepers in Oyo State, Nigeria.
The study compared the socio-economic characteristics of bee hunters and beekeepers. It also compared the bee sting prevention techniques and problems the two categories of bee farmers encountered in bee farming. The population for the study is made up of both bee hunters and beekeepers. A snowball technique was used to select the bee hunters as there was no official record while the list of beekeepers was obtained from beekeepers association. A total of fifty respondents were selected for the study consisting of 20 bee hunters and 30 beekeepers. An interview schedule was used in collecting data from the bee hunters since it was assumed that majority of them might not be able to read and write, while a questionnaire was used in gathering information from the beekeepers since it was believed that they were literates. The finding of the study showed that 76.7% of beekeepers are below 51 years of age, while 30% of the bee hunters’ fall within this age category, majority (90%) of the two categories of bee farmers was male. The beekeepers have higher education than bee hunters. About 75.0% of bee hunters used no prevention methods against bee sting while 100.0% of the beekeepers used bees dress/suit. About 60% of the bee hunters cited sting as problem they encountered while 46.7% of the beekeepers cited inadequate working space. Also, the keepers had better yields and made more income than the bee hunters. Since majority of bee hunters did not make use of bee sting prevention methods while beekeepers made use of bee dress, bee hunters should be trained of the importance of using bee sting prevention methods and should also be encouraged to have their own farms and move from being a bee hunter to beekeeper.
KEY WORDS: Bee hunters, Beekeepers, Hives, Honey.