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    Domesticating stingless bees

    stringless beesStingless bees are facing extinction due to pressure on natural resources like deforestation among other human activities that are threatening their habitation. Many farmers have expressed interest in keeping stingless bees whose honey is also highly valued because it is believed to have medicinal properties.

    The stingless bees can be reared within homesteads mainly because of their harmless nature. For farmers who want to rear the stingless bees, an important aspect to put into consideration is that the bees cannot survive in cold areas with temperatures below 20 degrees centigrade.  One should first conduct a survey in their areas to determine if there are any stingless bee species that are common in their locality.

    If a stingless bee nest is located within that particular area, in order to transfer the bees into a bee hive, bee keepers are advised to first dig the entrance tunnel until the trench reaches the nest. The soil around the cavity is then removed and caution should be exercised in order to avoid crashing the brood.

    Free the nest by gently removing the soil around it and while doing this, one should not scrap the honey pot because the honey will pour out into the brood and attract pests such as the hive beetles, ants and phorid flies whose larvae feed on the brood. Separate the pollen pot from the brood then place the hive in a vertical position, place the top cover and seal the gaps with a masking tape.

    Then take the substance from the entrance tunnel and smear it on the entrance to the hive to attract the bees. If one is transporting the brood for long distances, seal gaps and nest entrance and open in the following day when you have arrived at the nest site where you intend to place the bee hive.

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