Evaluation of transitional and modern hives for honey production in the Mid Rift Valley of Ethiopia
The study was conducted in Adami Tulu and Arsi Negelle districts from September 2009 to June 2012 to evaluate productivity performance of transitional and modern box bee hives. Based on farmers’ capacity, one modern box hive and one transitional hive made from locally available materials were used at each of the experimenting farmer. Traditional hives were used as control. Before actual commencement of
this study, theoretical and practical training session was given for a total of 60 beekeepers at the selected sites. After training, the farmers were organized as Farmers’ Research Group (FRG) to perform all research activities together. Data related to honey yield were collected and analyzed using the General Linear Model
procedure of the statistical Analysis System (2006). The overall average annual honey yield performance clearly revealed that both modern bee hive (23.18 kg/hive and transitional bee hive (13.88 kg/hive were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than traditional bee hive (6.08 kg/hive. There was significant difference (p < 0.05) among the three representative sites. It is concluded that using improved bee hives with improved management practices can improve honey yield and ensure better quality of honey compared to traditional bee hive. It is recommended that government and non government should intensively focus on scaling up and promoting the adoption of transitional hive for small scale beekeepers and modern bee hive for large scale/commercial beekeepers to improve their’ income.
Key words: Transitional hive, modern hive, evaluation, honey, bee colonies, yield