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The specialist international beekeeping organisation
By Nuru Adgaba Holetta Bee Research Centre West Shoa Ethiopia Bee husbandry is a major activity of Ethiopian farming communities. It seems as ancient as the history of the country and forms an integral part of the life style. For many farmers beekeeping is good business providing a high proportion of their annual income. Particularly in northern parts of the country local beekeeping methods are well developed. In this area a fascinating aspect of traditional beekeeping is the practice of selling honeybee colonies like other domestic animals in the local market place.Some beekeepers carry colonies on their heads to market: the journeys may take up to two days over distances of 60 km. During the peak selling season at Inticho about 300 honeybee colonies are offered for sale on one market day. The price of a well-established colony in a local hive ranges from 250-300 Birr US$ 30-35 nearly equivalent to the price of one head of cattle. The Municipality collects a tax of one Birr per colony sold in the market.