This is a manual for getting started with small scale beekeeping development projects. The intention is to provide an overview of beekeeping and its possibilities as a tool for development.
No attempt is made to duplicate technical information given in other readily available resources on beekeeping. The idea is to provide an orientation to the realities of small-scale development beekeeping. once oriented to these realities, you should be able to adapt more technical material to the situation in your community.
There are intermediate levels of beekeeping technology which can be self-sustaining using only local resources. Information on this scale of beekeeping is hard to find. Much of it is presented in a technical form in beekeeping journals. This manual offers a guide to these intermediate technology beekeeping systems and methods.
The reality of most small-farmer situations makes "high-tech" beekeeping unviable. High-tech beekeeping is well covered in other readily-available sources. Therefore, this guide does not cover this scale of beekeeping in detail. High-tech beekeeping is covered here to point out its possibilities as an ultimate development goal. The problems that often arise when trying to carry on high-tech beekeeping where inputs are difficult to obtain are also discussed. For more details, an annotated list of sources is given in Appendix A.
A bee-human relationship exists throughout the world, except in the arctic and the extensive desert regions. In many regions, this relationship is carried on at a low level of technology and understanding of bees. This guide provides the information necessary to assess the local level of the bee-human relationship and to determine an appropriate beekeeping technology for your area.