Hossam Farag Ibrahim Abou-Shaara
Assistant lecturer at Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour
branch, Alexandria University, Egypt.
About Yemeni honeybees
The Yemeni honeybees (Apis mellifera jementica) are very small in size and have small wax combs. These bees are reared in traditional wooden tube hives, same as mud tube hives. Beekeepers of Saudi Arabia and Yemen have used them to transport these bees from traditional tube hives to modern Langstroth hives.
2- Bees inside the wooden tube hive
3- Open wooden hive
4- Mud tube hives
Some beekeepers used wire to fix the cycle wax combs in the wooden frames. But this method is time consuming and not easy to follow.
7- Fixed wax combs
8- Yemeni bee combs
9- Uneven surface of wax comb
10- Different colors of the wax combs at the same frame
The second problem of installing Yemeni honey bees in Langstroth hives from tube hives is that the new installed bees are leaving the Langstroth hive quickly (Absconding), with the queen and all the bees leaving the modern hive to the nearby trees. That happens because Yemeni honey bees usually are adapted to tube hives and not Langstroth ones.
12- Bees absconding from the hives
13- Bees on the tree
Beekeepers overcome this problem by closing the Langstroth hives` openings by grass up to two days which will help in the adaptation of Yemeni bees to Langstroth hives. The amazing thing is that these bees can bear high temperature up to 50 ?C. The temperature of Saudi Arabia during summer is very high and may exceed 50 ?C. However, these bees can live in small colonies of about 3 to 4 frames. In general these bees can bear hot and dry weather of Saudi Arabia.
14- Some forager Yemeni bees during summer season.
These honey bees are not aggressive if compared with the Egyptian bees. You can inspect the hives without veil or gloves. But the hybrid of Yemeni and Carniolan bees is more aggressive.
16- Honey comb of Yemeni honeybees
The honey production of Yemeni honeybees is not high with average of 4-7
Kg per colony and the colonies of these bees in general do not exceed
8 frames. This is the main reason for Saudi Arabian beekeepers to import
large numbers of honeybees from Egypt, Turkey and Australia.