New training and support plan for beekeepers of Saint Lucia island.

Bees are important pollinators ensuring the maintenance of many ecosystems…

In Saint Lucia, changes and variabilities in local climate conditions have fostered increased crop pests and diseases, unpredictible flowering patterns which in turn affects honey yields and swarming. Under current climate change projections for Saint Lucia, the island is expected to experience more frequent and extreme tropical storms and drought. Consequently, the timing of tree flowering will become more erratic resulting in unpredictable forage availability for bee livestock. This adds to the vulnerabilities of bee farmers who solely or partially depends on their bee livestock to maintain their livelihoods.

FAO has concluded that genetic resources for food and agriculture will have to contribute greatly to our efforts to cope with climate change, further increasing the importance of pollination activities carried out bee livestock and naturally occurring bee colonies. In Saint Lucia, honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations are being impacted from natural and anthropogenic pressures; Local changes and variabilities in climate conditions have fostered unpredictable flowering patterns which in turn contribute to reducing yields of honey. Research has shown that selective breeding and stock improvement are the long-term solution to challenges facing the beekeeping industry.

This project seeks to take a multi-prong approach with the overall aim inject new technology into apiary management in Saint Lucia. The increase honeybee forage area to facilitate crops ability to sustain the pollen and nectar requirements of honeybee colonies, implementing a selective breeding programme that will strengthen the local bee livestock throug the replication of favourable traits of successful colonies and instruction of climate smart technologies that is expected to help stabilize honey production, therefore lessen the vulnerabilities of local apiculturist.

Three main steps to achieve the objective of this project by the Government of Saint Lucia :

1 - Collecting data to facilitate evidence-based decision making from high quality hive and weather data.

2 - Using selective breeding to duplicate traits of successful colonies of bee livestock available to beekeepers, and;

3 - Increase forage for the bees by planting a variety of drought-tolerant, native tree and crop species.

The entire project carried out will thus make it possible to maintain, in a natural way, the island’s bee population’s resistance to the impact of climate change and thus provide support to the bee industry in Saint Lucia in a continuous growth momentum.

It is in this context that the Apinov team, intervened this end of March 2019, as part of the realizations of trainings on the adaptation of bees to climate change and training to the rearing of bees queens and initiation to the insemination of bee queen, with our partner : Mr. Dominique LOF, professional beekeeper on Martinique island.

Presentation about the adaptation of bees to climate change

Grafting training for the breeding of queens

Introduction to artificial insemination of bee queens

Next step: Insemination improvement training in May 2019 for the beekeepers of the island.

The Apinov team thanks the Government of Saint Lucia for its welcome, and its involvement in a project with strong environmental values, of Apinov’s shared ambitions! The beginning of a new age for the beekeeping industry….

This project entitled Building the resilience of the honey sector to the impacts of climate change through genetic security and adoption of the best proven, climate smart production methods is being implemented under the United Nations Development Programme’s Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (UNDP J-CCCP). UNDP is the implementing partner (in conjunction with the Government) with donor funding from the Government and People of Japan.