Zimbabwe To Host First International Research Conference On African Honeybee And Indigenous Knowledge Systems

By Wallace Mawire, Zimbabwe

The  Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) and the Bee Keepers Association of Zimbabwe Trust (BKAZT) will on 28 to 29 July, 2015 host the first International Research conference on African Honeybee and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Bindura, according to Chaipa Mutandwa, Coordinator for BKAZT.

The Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) is a private Christian University established by a Pentecostal multi-national church movement, ZAOGA (FIF) whose niche to humanity is ‘Developing a Total Person.’

“The African honey bee keeping has undoubted potential to improve the livelihoods of people if the benefits are understood and harnessed appropriately. Research on colony management, queen breeding, health, diseases, apitherapy and use of indigenous knowledge systems can empower a number of bee keepers in Africa and enable them to maximize on the potential of apiculture in their regions. The identified gaps in quality assurance, fair trade and certification can be bridged as more research is undertaken and people empowered to sustainably keep the Honey bee,” Mutandwa said.

Mutandwa added that the conference seeks to pool together researchers, service providers, indigenous people, buyers ,bee keepers, NGO’s, the private sector representatives, government ministries and academia to contribute in the discussions, exhibitions and round table discussion on issues affecting this industry particularly in Southern Africa. It further seeks to further develop the current knowledge and research on African Honeybee keeping.

The objectives of the conference are to:  Disseminate and widen research on Honeybee keeping, promote national and international linkages and networks among the bee-keepers, research institutions, service providers and buyers of bee and hive products, promote cooperation on research the African Honey bee and to harness and understand the indigenous knowledge systems of bee keeping in Africa.

 The conference Theme is: ‘African Honeybee research, indigenous knowledge systems and the future.’

 Mutandwa added that the conference will address six sub-themes from which authors can choose topics to focus their abstracts on: which include Sub-theme 1: Research, knowledge and the challenges of bee keeping, Sub-theme 2: Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), use and benefits for bee keeping, Sub-theme 3: African Honeybee for economic and sustainable development, Sub-theme 4: Fair trading, certification and Quality assurance of honey and bee products, Sub-theme 5: Bee diseases, health and Apitherapy and Sub-theme 6: Stingless bees and their potential.

Image source: youngfamersfoundation

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