The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME)’s Agricultural Affairs Department has been carrying out a programme to develop and enhance the honeybee industry locally as part of a national project to help farm owners increase and diversify their income through beekeeping.
Honey production in the country increased to 13,230kg in 2019 and a budget was set to further support farmers taking part in the project.
This was in addition to offering them the required assistance and guidance through various stages of the beekeeping and honey production process, the MME said in a statement.
The department has been working to increase the number of queen bees and localise them since 2016 to produce a breed suitable for the Qatari environment after going through the natural selection process and getting acclimatised with the local environment.
The ministry noted that the number of queen bees produced in 2020 amounted to 987.
Some 510 queen bees were distributed among 18 honey-producing farms between January and April. More are being produced by the ministry in the nursery to be distributed in local farms each year.
Between 2016 and 2019, efforts have been made to select the best queen bees in the country by collecting the best qualities from different farms and taking the samples to Umm Qarn with a specialised apparatus to rear queen bees in the nursery there, in addition to following traditional methods. These were multiplied, but in small numbers, for reasons related to the type of bees and how suited they were to the local environment.
From 2013-2016, some 1,300 beehives along with equipment and accessories were distributed among 130 farms - with each getting 10 beehives. Suitable bees were imported to enhance the work of interested farms in the field and support them with all necessary technical assistance, training and specialised follow-up.
In 2019, the number of beehives jumped to 2,646 with a production of 13,230kg of honey.
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