In a bid to bolster the strength and vitality of bee colonies, Fiji Beekeepers Association President, Nilesh Kumar, emphasized the significance of rearing high-quality queen bees
Speaking at the inaugural Pacific Islands Bee Congress, Kumar highlighted the pivotal role of queen rearing in achieving robust bee populations and maximizing honey production.
According to Kumar, the key to increasing honey yields lies not only in providing bees with new coatings and proper nutrition but also in prioritizing the practice of queen rearing. This process he says serves as a foundation for improving genetics within beekeeping operations, underscoring the value it brings to the industry.
He highlighted the potential financial opportunities associated with queen rearing, emphasizing beekeepers could capitalize on this practice by selling high-quality queens, and creating additional revenue streams for their businesses.
While queen rearing may seem daunting to some, Kumar stressed that it primarily demands commitment, passion, and a willingness to invest time and acquire knowledge.
The Fiji Beekeepers Association is dedicated to providing substantial education and fostering cooperation among farmers through regular meetings. Kumar said the ultimate success of queen rearing initiatives rests upon farmers’ commitment and their ability to learn from any mistakes they encounter.
Drawing upon his own experience, Kumar revealed that just four years ago, he had not even considered queen breeding. However, a transformative encounter with Allen Richards in New Zealand changed his perspective.
Inspired by Richards’ expertise and demonstrations, Kumar embarked on his own journey of queen breeding. He sought guidance from online resources and consulted fellow beekeepers to overcome challenges along the way. Today, queen breeding has become Kumar’s area of specialization, and he encourages others to explore this rewarding aspect of beekeeping.
As the Pacific Islands strive to develop a robust and sustainable beekeeping industry, Kumar’s message resonates with farmers across the region. He urges aspiring beekeepers to recognize the importance of queen rearing and its potential to contribute to their passion and business endeavors.