By Sara Israfilbayova
Beekeeping, perhaps, one of the most environmentally friendly types of agriculture, is vibrant and flourishing in Azerbaijan and the industry almost doubled over the last eight years.
Recent researches show that the products of the beekeeping industry have a significant demand both inside the country and abroad.
Thus, head of the public relations and information support department of Azerbaijan’s Agriculture Ministry Vugar Huseynov told Trend that abroad, and especially in the Arab countries, there is a great demand for honey products made in Azerbaijan.
“Today, a number of Azerbaijani beekeepers export their products abroad and even to Japan. Today, beekeepers sell most of their products to Arab countries. The main task of the ministry is to promote bee products, thus we can create conditions to attract additional currency to the country,” said Huseynov.
He went on to say that today highly productive bee breeds from abroad are imported to Azerbaijan, especially from Germany. He also noted that the import of bee families into the country is not regulated by the state and this work is carried out by the beekeepers themselves.
Taking into account that bees imported from Germany are very productive, Huseynov noted that the best beekeepers in Azerbaijan can get 15-20 kilograms of honey from a single hive.
Further, he stressed that Azerbaijan has famous bee families of Caucasian breed, adding that in order to protect the gene pool of Azerbaijani bees, there is a need to work on increasing the number of these families in the laboratory.
The rich climate of subtropics, the riotous diversity of flora and the valuable qualities of local bees - these are the favorable natural conditions of Azerbaijan, which contributed to the maintenance of the centuries-old tradition of beekeeping in Transcaucasia.
During the excavation in The Azokh Cave, where one of the most ancient settlements of the primitive man was discovered, a bowl with the bee depicted on it was found, which once again proves that beekeeping has deep roots in Azerbaijan.
An apiary organized in Mughan at the Caucasian silkworm station in 1889 became the center of rational beekeeping for the entire Transcaucasia.
From 1990 to 1999, beekeeping in the country decreased by 45 percent. There were many reasons for that. Most apiaries were destroyed in the area of military operations.
Currently, the Azerbaijani government does all its best to contribute to the rehabilitation and further development of beekeeping with creating favorable conditions for beekeepers.
In September 2016, “Simplified support to family business” (ABAD) under the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations operating under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN) was created in order to support the active participation of citizens in the social and economic development of Azerbaijan, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), increase of employment of the population.
The main task nowadays is to increase the production of honey and export it through participation of beekeepers in international markets under the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand.