Beekeeping

Francis, August 5, 2021

This information covers PGS ecological standards for bee-keeping in Ghana.

1. Conversion and brought-in bees and swarms

Bee colonies may be converted to organic production. The conversion period for a colony is one honey harvest cycle. If the wax has been contaminated with pesticides it shall be replaced by organic wax at the start of the conversion period.

2. Location and construction of hives

Hives shall be situated in organically managed fields and/or wild natural areas. Hives shall be situated in an area with sufficient forage, access to water, honeydew, nectar and pollen.

Do not use conventional wax contaminated with synthetic pesticides;only use organic or non-contaminated wax for starter combs. When constructing hives, do not use materials that have toxic effects to the bees or the bee products.

3. Feeding of bees

The honeydew, nectar and pollen shall mainly come from plants that are either wild or that fulfil organic crop requirement.

4. Husbandry

The health of bee colonies shall be maintained by good management practices, with emphasis on disease prevention through breed selection and hive management.

For pest and disease control, the following may be used;

– lactic, oxalic, acetic acid
– sulphur
– natural etheric oils (e.g., menthol, eucalyptol,
camphor, thymon, lemongrass oil)
– Bacillus thurungiensis
– steam and direct flame
– glycerol
– phytotherapeutic treatment
– wood ash

Synthetic veterinary drugs, antibiotics or synthetic pesticides may be used, but the colony shall undergo a new conversion. Do not use ‘used’ engine oil for pest control.

Good husbandry practices shall include:
– the use of breeds that adapt well to local
conditions
– renewal of queen bees, where necessay
– regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment
– regular renewal of beeswax
– availablity in hives of sufficient pollen and honey
– placing of hives so that the temperature is
favourable to the bees
– inspection of hives to detect any anomalies
– disinfection, isolation or destruction of
contaminated hives and material.

5. Harvesting of bee products

At the harvest, colonies shall be left with reserves of honey, brood and pollen sufficient for the survival of the colony. Do not use synthetic repellents during the harvest of bee products. Keep smoking to a minimum and only use smoking materials of natural origin.

These are basic requirements for organic beekeeping based on the Ecological Organic Standard for Ghana (EOSG) which was adopted by the PSG Ghana in Jan 2019.

More information about organic farming and the practical application of these requirements can be obtained from;

PGS Ghana
Tel: +233 (0)26 904 8634
Email: coordinator@pgs-ghana.bio
Website: www.pgs-ghana.bio