By Leman Mammadova
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.
Honey is used in the treatment of many diseases in folk medicine as well as in our daily lives.
Currently, the Azerbaijan is doing all best to contribute to the rehabilitation and further development of beekeeping by creating favorable conditions for beekeepers.
Climatic conditions and rich vegetation are the main factors that contribute to the development of beekeeping in our country.
In 2018, 3,000 tons of honey were produced in Azerbaijan, Badraddin Khasratov, chairman of the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association, told Trend on January 7.
Khasratov noted that the number of bee colonies increased in 2018 compared to 2017.
"Moreover, 65-70 percent of the country's population is provided with honey produced in the country," he added.
According to the available data, there were 300,000 bee colonies in the country. However, presently, there are 400,000 bee colonies and grants have been given for the maintenance of 270,000 of them.
It is expected that the number of colonies will reach 500,000-600,000.
Khasratov emphasized that the skills and knowledge of beekeepers should be improved.
“On average, each bee colony gives up to ten kilograms of honey,” he said. “This figure is very small compared to the figure in leading countries. If certain measures are carried out, volume of honey from each bee colony can be increased up to 25-30 kilograms."
Annual honey production in the republic is 3,000 tons, and honey consumption is 5,000 tons. Most of bee families are located in Zagatala (17,097), Astara (12,429), Gakh (9,125), Lerik (8,669) and Balakan (8,581).
Presently, about 6,000 people are engaged in beekeeping in Azerbaijan.
There are about 600 species of honey plants in Azerbaijan, of which almost 200, as a source of nectar and pollen, create even greater natural opportunities for the expansion of beekeeping.
In 2017, Azerbaijan produced 3,000 tons of honey.
New methods will be implemented to increase honey production in Azerbaijan.
Productivity is expected to double as a result of the installation of mobile bee pavilions, which will be acquired for farmers in the framework of the “Project to strengthen the competitiveness of agriculture”. The use of new methods will result in 28 instead of 15 kilograms of honey from each hive.
Beekeepers have been recently granted a subsidy of 10 manats for each beehive for the five years. The aim was to stimulate the development of beekeeping in the country, to support small businesses and to employ in individuals and legal entities engaged in beekeeping in rural areas. In order to organize the issuance of subsidies, regional commissions under the Agriculture Ministry will appear in the Azerbaijani regions.
Recently, 15 families in Jojug Marjanli village of Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil region have been provided with 10 bee colonies, various beekeeping equipment and materials.
In the near future, in the north-west regions of Azerbaijan it is planned to implement another pilot project - the development of beekeeping among women. The project will be implemented jointly with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and should start in September. Training will be conducted with them, after which bee families and the necessary funds in the amont of $1,000 will be allocated to each woman.
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