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IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTEMPORARY HONEY BEE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING PRACTICES AMONG FARMERS IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA Abstract   This study assessed the adoption of modern honey bee production and processing practices in Kogi State, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives were to identify the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers, access their awareness and adoption of modern honey bee processing practices. Furthermore, the research sought to identify the benefits of and constraints to adoption of modern honey bee processing practices (MHBPPs) in Kogi State. The study was a descriptive survey with a population of 1200 KNAP-trained bee farmers for the period 20102013.Ten (10) LGAs were randomly selected (to reflect all the senatorial zones) and all the 270 bee farmers in the 10 LGAs formed the sample size for the study. A structured and validated questionnaire was used to elicit relevant data from the respondents. Of the 270 administered questionnaires, 97.50% rate of return was obtained and the data was used for analysis. The result showed that majority of the bee farmers were males 94.30%, married 91.60%, and aged 45-55years 73.70% with all the participants having at least primary education with an average annual income of N200,000.00 from bee keeping business. The bee farmers were aware, adopting and benefiting from MHBPPs In terms of adoption, the most adopted practice was wearing bee clothes followed by sorting and grading and benefited most in quality products with increased income. The most severe constraints to adoption were high cost of equipment, scarcity of modern production and processing equipment and the least constraint was honey fermentation and crystallization. All the null hypotheses were rejected because significant relationship existed in the variables tested. Hypothesis one which stated that there is no significant effect of socio-economic characteristics on adoption of MHBPPP was significant at 0.05. This implies that there is a significant effect of socio-economic characteristics on adoption of MHBPPPs. Significant relationship was found between awareness and adoption of MHBPPs since calculated r value of 0.637 was found at 0.05 level of significance. There was significant relationship between constraints and adoption as calculated r value of 0.673 at 0.05 levels of significance was obtained. This means that the higher the constraints the lower the adoption of MHBPPs. In conclusion, the study found that bee farmers in Kogi State were aware and were adopting the MHBPPs, with benefits of higher quality products and increased income. However, the constraints encountered by the farmers led them to the use blends of local and modern tools in their production and processing. The study recommended that government should provide soft loans, remove duties on imported tools and equipment as well as create enabling environment for local fabrication of honey production and processing tools.   CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Honey bees are social insects that belong to the family Apidae, genus Apis and species Apis melifera. These social insects visit approximately two (2) million flowers to make one pound of honey for human use. They live in colonies made up of only one queen, some few drones and thousands of workers. According to Mujuni, Natukunda and Kuzonga, (2012) a productive colony may have more than two- three million workers performing various duties (near perfect division of labour) and a co-ordinated lifestyle. Bees produce honey, wax, propolis, bee pollen, bee venom and royal jelly which are beneficial to man as food, medicine and materials for industrial use. The use of bee and its products through apitherapy and bee venom therapy (BVT) in the treatment of various human ailments and diseases abound in literature. Stangaciu (2006) reports several uses and benefits of bee and its products in the treatment of various ailments and diseases. Richardson (2012) states that fresh raw honey is not only a sweetener, but has many wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties and hence used as a potent healing agent in many parts of the world. Apart from these products, honey bees contribute immensely in ensuring continued human existence through their activities in the pollination of plants. Food is cheaper in most developed economies due to the intense specialized agricultural system of which honey bees play key roles through colony renting for pollination in farms. Abebe, Puskur and Karippai, (2008) reports that honey bees increase the productivity of both food crops and forest trees and specifically increase the production of water melon by 100%, onions by 94%, and citrus fruits by 30%, and tomatoes by25%.  In developed economies and places where bee keeping is commercialized, bee renting for pollination is another source of income to farmers (Kaiser and Arnst 2013) and also leads to diversified agriculture as it can be integrated with other agricultural activities as well as agro-forestry (Shakib & Sayed, 2016). Bee production or apiculture involves the use of modern artificial techniques of managing bees for honey, wax, pollen, propolis, venom and royal jelly. Since bees are naturally wild, what is done in bee farming is the use of appropriate management and modern practices to manipulate the environment (climate, soil, vegetation, equipment and other resources) to enhance production. Due to its role in employment, bee farming has become one of the major strategies of governments especially of East and South African countries at alleviating poverty and improving income of people. It is an enterprise that is not only beneficial through its products, but also its minimal start off capital, environmental friendliness and large market for products (Haftom-Gebremedhu, Tesfay, Murutse and Estifanos 2013). There are different categories of honey bee practitioners especially in developing countries like Nigeria. These practitioners include honey hunters, hobbyists, careerists and professionals who engage in one aspect or the other in honey bee and other related products.  Most times their production is of low quantity and quality due to use of local tools and poor practices (Fakayode, Babatunde, Olowogbon & Adesuyi 2010).  These practices destroy not only the adult bees, but also the brood, combs, flowers/plants and contaminate the products harvested. Their bee production activities are not different from the honey hunters (poachers, thieves or vandalizers of hive products). These people „fire and kill‟ bees, harvest matured and immature honey, vandalize the hives and waste many other products for lack of appropriate skills and practices. There are also the hobbyists who, for their love of the golden insect, keep a few hives in their environment but are usually scared even opening or harvesting the products. On the other hand, commercial honey bee farmers keep a large number of modern hives and equipment in many different apiaries where they have managed the environment to suit the bees. The products of such commercial farms are usually more varied and qualitative due to better methods of production, harvesting, extraction, grading and packaging of the products. Although the bee farmers are categorized in these forms by different authors, most of them co-exist or use blends of both practices. This is to say that a farmer may have both local and modern apiary equipment depending on available funds, level of skill acquired and available technology. Therefore, there is need to create awareness among bee farmers on the need to adopt modern production and processing practices for the protection of the bees and production of high quality products. Awareness is simply knowledge of the existence of something: practice, technology or an input, a skill, equipment or method of doing something. This knowledge may lead to adoption or non adoption of the innovation depending on the benefits derivable from its use. When a honey bee farmer learns of the existence of a modern practice (use of Langstrouth hive, safety bee kit or honey or wax extractor) and gains some understanding of its functions, such an individual is said to be aware. In bee farming, this knowledge includes information about modern skills, methods and practices of production, baiting, swarm management, harvesting and processing, sorting and packaging, identification of good marketing channels among others. Sources of this new knowledge or practices can be from the extension officer, fellow bee farmers, co-operative groups, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), agricultural departments of tertiary institutions and government farms. The source of the information of the innovation may positively or negatively affect its use by the honey bee farmers. Awareness is the first stage in the adoption process. The level of awareness of the modern processing practices and the benefits derivable from their use will make farmers to adopt.  However, with improved knowledge, skill, practices and improved tools and facilities, the quality and quantity of produce will satisfy both local and export demands. Processing helps to increase and improve the quality and shelf-life of the hive products. The purpose of processing any product is to add value and increase the products‟ acceptance by the consumers. The processing stages for the production of marketable honey according to food processing technologies (FPT, 2000) include uncapping, extraction, settling, dehumification, filtering, grading, packaging and labeling. Adoption is a complex process that requires time for decisions to be taken by the farmer. It implies the acceptance and continued use of a new and recommended idea or practice by individuals or groups over a reasonably long period. Tabinda, Murad, Sajida and Akmal, (2013) define adoption in bee farming as the development and use of new bee management techniques, production and distribution of genetically superior honey bee queens, appropriate skills for production and processing as well as marketing of produce. Adoption involves creating awareness of the innovation, building interest and evaluation of the idea by the farmer, trial and eventual adoption or rejection of the innovation. Adoption is made easier if the innovation has better advantages over the practices already in use. One of the basic reasons for adoption of any innovation is due to the benefits accruable from such a venture by the prospective person or user. Roger‟s theory of adoption (1962) clearly agrees that new practices that have advantages are much more easily accepted by the prospective end-users. The adoption of the modern methods of processing hive products presents the bee farmer with a lot of benefits. Some of these benefits include ease of operation/work in the apiary, much more harvest of other products that were otherwise wasted due to poor skills and tools of processing them. Moreover the sustainability of bee farming is guaranteed since the bee brood (young bees), environment and the farmer are all preserved and protected when modern methods of both production and processing are employed. This is because the farmer harvests only the ripe honey while leaving the immature ones to remain and complete their own life cycle The use of modern methods in processing honey and wax reduces to the lowest level the incidences of adulteration of products. This is because the right type of hive and other hive tools that allows for proper inspection and or harvesting of products are put in place hence risks and some hazards of the job are reduced. This is in contrast to the use of local hives where all the contents of the hive (honey, wax, bee brood, and all the bees) have to be harvested at the same time. The sustainability of bee production business cannot be guaranteed in such a case. Innovations that have made bee farming easier such as queen rearing cannot be practiced by bee farmers who do not have the right tools and practices. Through queen rearing, the farmer is able to determine the trait and characteristics of the colony, time and number of hives to establish since he no longer depends on chance for the colonization of his hives. In order to achieve good success in honey bee production and processing, the farmer should have some personal qualities and skills that will enhance effective production. Some of these qualities according to Gregner, (2003) include interest in bees and their characteristics, love for good flowers, being a naturalist and biologist who uses good knowledge and skills learnt to harness the bee products. Also the intending honey bee farmers should relate well and have good interaction with experienced bee farmers as mentors.  Through these interactions, the new entrants learn the basic modern skills and practices in the what, why, when and how of managing bees and their stings for good production. According to Abebe et al. (2008) in Ethiopia and Mujuni et al. (2012) in Uganda, bee farmers prefer to learn new techniques, skills and practices from their fellow farmers than from extension workers due to issues of trust. Some of these skills and practices include the ability to open and inspect activities in the hive, ability to wear and use the bee clothes and remain calm especially when the bees are agitated in the course of inspection or harvest. It also includes ability to differentiate the various products through their color, scent or position in the hive and be able to harvest them. Other important practices and methods include the ability to use the modern processing machines, tools, equipment and other materials to harvest, uncap, extract, dehumify, sort/grade, package and load these products appropriately with minimal or no damage or contamination. Awareness and adoption of these modern practices are very important to every intending or practicing bee farmer in order to improve the quality of honey bee products in Kogi State. Kogi State Government, in an effort at reducing the high rate of unemployment, security risks and youth restiveness, train and provide inputs to different people in the state. The Kogi Afforestation Programme, (KNAP) a parastatal of the Ministry of Environment, under the Community Orientation Committee (COC) train people in various aspects of agriculture including bee farming. Records from KNAP shows that for some years now (2010-2013) a total of one thousand two hundred (1200) people were selected, trained and empowered with basic practices, skills and tools in honeybee farming They were also given 2 modern and one local hives, complete bee kits (boot, gloves, overall, goggles, hat), buckets, smokers, hive tools and a financial assistance of ₦5,000.00 per participant. Monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the trained bee farmers is carried out by the monitoring and evaluation unit of the parastatal. In order to reduce the problems of adulteration and marketing of their products, KNAP buys off the raw produce from some of the trained bee farmers, process and market the product in differently sized containers that are labeled.  

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Honey bee production is an aspect of agriculture that has been described by many as a profitable venture due to its many benefits and opportunities. It has the potential of creating sustainable employment, alleviating poverty and improving the ecological condition of the environment where it is practiced. Despite all the benefits of bees to man coupled with the small „take-off‟ funds, bee farming has not received the desired recognition by both government and the citizenry in Nigeria and in Kogi in particular. Most of the honey consumed in Kogi is produced by honey hunters whose production is low both in quality and quantity, due mainly to poor skills in processing the products. Even the traditional honey bee farmers also use crude tools and materials both in production and processing. These traditional tools and practices have detrimental effects on the environment, honey bee population (destroys the bee brood and combs), lowers quality and quantity of hive products, reduced economic gains of the farming community. These crude/traditional methods are a threat to sustainability of bee business. However, with modern skills and practices in production and processing, many more and higher quality products are harvested from the hive. The modern box/framed hives are designed to make inspection and harvesting of products easier since the frames and hives are not attached by wax or propolis. Equally, the use of complete bee kit reduces bee stings on the farmer thereby allowing him to focus and complete his work (inspection of harvesting) without fear of being stung. Due to poor processing and packaging of products in unlabeled containers, there is high level of adulteration, resulting to poor market at local and international levels. It is the quality of honey that has disqualified Nigeria from exporting hive products to the EU as a third world country („third country‟). Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC, 2015), states that the non certification of Nigeria has affected Nigerian investors and exporters who secure orders from EU importers for honey, propolis, wax and other products. This adulteration is costing Nigeria over US $200 million annually that would have been earned from export of honey bee products. In addition, bee farming has not been accepted by many people as an income generating aspect of agriculture due to fear of bee stings (bee phobia) and poor knowledge of how to manage them. With the adoption of modern production and processing practices and facilities by farmers, honey bee production will improve to the level of export in the country.  This study therefore, investigated the adoption of modern honey bee production and processing practices in honey bee farming in Kogi State, Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of the study was to assess adoption of modern honey bee production and processing practices in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to:

  1. describe the socio-economic characteristics of honey bee farmers in Kogi State;
  2. ascertain the awareness of MHBPPPs in the production and processing of honey and wax in the study area;
  3. assess the level of adoption of MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State;
  4. examine the benefits derived by the farmers in using MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax; and,
  5. identify constraints to adoption of MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions were drawn up to answer the research questions:

  1. What are the socio-economic characteristics of the honey bee farmers in the study area?
  2. Are the farmers in the study area aware of MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax?

3, What is the level of farmers‟ adoption of MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State?

  1. What are the benefits derived by farmers from using MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State?
  2. What are the constraints to the adoption of MHBPPPs in the production and processing of honey and wax in the study area?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

Ho1: There is no significant effect of socio-economic characteristics of honey bee farmers‟ on adoption of MHBPPPs in production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State. Ho2: There is no significant relationship between farmers‟ level of awareness and level of adoption of MHBPPPs in the production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State. Ho3: There is no significant relationship between the number of constraints and adoption of MHBPPPs in the production and processing of honey and wax in Kogi State.

1.6       Significance of the Study

Every study or research is supposed to add new knowledge and information to the existing body of knowledge in the society. This study will be useful to a number of individuals and organizations. These include the honey bee practitioners, policy makers, educational institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), training consultants and others. Honey bee practitioners will benefit from the findings of the study because it will provide them with modern skills in processing the hive products. The modern skills will enable them to process the hive products to the level of getting the maximum benefits in both quality and quantity. More over none of the products will be wasted as the skills and methods needed to get all the products (honey, wax, propolis, bee bread, bee venom and royal jelly) will be known. Policy makers of government will equally benefit from the study because it will provide the needed information on how to plan activities and projects that will help to improve the methods and skills of especially the unemployed and under employed people in the society. Furthermore, the findings will be useful to planners in managing and making government programmes more focused and result-oriented. This will result to improved and increased production, more income generation as well as job creation for the teaming youths. Educational Institutions and other skills training and development outfits will use the identified methods, skills and practices on their trainees for improved productivity in bee keeping practices. The result of the work can be used as a guide by educational institutions where honey bee farming is taught like the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and colleges of agriculture. These people will graduate with the needed methods, skills and practices necessary for starting up their own businesses. Honey bee farmers associations, bee farmer co-operatives and even young farmers club will benefit from the findings as it will help in training and retraining of their members.

1.7       Basic Assumptions of the Study

This study assumed that:

  1. Honey bee farmers in Kogi State are aware but are not adopting modern practices in production and processing the products of the hive.
  2. Due to poor production and processing practices of the hive products, consumers‟ demands are not met, hence less benefits/income for the farmer.
  3. Adoption of modern production and processing practices will lead to sustained honey bee production and the creation of gainful employment and income for farmers.
  4. With improved practices and good standard of living of the current ageing bee farmers, the youths will be attracted to honey bee business.

1.8       Delimitations of the Study

The study was delimited to the assessment of the adoption of MHBPPPs in the production and processing of honey and wax among farmers in Kogi State. It was also delimited to the objectives of the study and to Kogi State as the study area. Furthermore, it was delimited to honey bee farmers who have been trained by KNAP and have their personal apiaries either at subsistence or commercial scale at any of the KNAP Forest Shelter Belts in Kogi State. This was to avoid interferences from extraneous factors. The study was also delimited to the modern production and processing practices for honey and wax only as the other hive products are not part of the study. IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTEMPORARY HONEY BEE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING PRACTICES AMONG FARMERS IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA

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