African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Full Length Research Paper

Honeybee pests, predators and diseases in the selected districts of Bench-Maji and Sheka zones, Southwest Ethiopia

Teshome Gemechu
  • Teshome Gemechu
  • Department of Animal and Range Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Madda Walabu University, P. O. Box 247, Bale Robe, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Elias Bayou
  • Elias Bayou
  • Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mizan-Tepi University, P. O. Box 260, Mizan-Tepi, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Tirusew Teshale
  • Tirusew Teshale
  • Department of Agro-economics, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mizan-Tepi University, P. O. Box 260, Mizan-Tepi, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 17 January 2019
  •  Accepted: 01 April 2019
  •  Published: 31 May 2024

Abstract

This study evaluates the honeybee pests, predators and diseases in the selected districts of Sheka and Bench Maji zones. A cross sectional study design was used in the study. Four hundred and twenty households were involved in the study and 35 were randomly selected using stratified random sampling techniques from each purposively selected twelve kebeles. Specimens were collected from a hive of 72 households for validation of disease prevalence in the study areas. According to the result of survey, the most common beehives used in the study areas were traditional beehives (39.05, 80.95, 98.10 and 97.14% in Anderacha, Guraferda, Shey Bench and Maji districts, respectively). Most beekeepers from Anderacha (62.86%) and Shey Bench (49.52%) districts placed their hive both in backyards and on trees in the forests; while, most beekeepers in Guraferda (75.24%) and Maji (96.19%) districts hang their hive on trees in the forest. The current study revealed that, the existence of ant, lizards, honey badger, termites, snake, death head hawks moth, spider (Latrodectus mactans), wax moth, bee-eater birds, beetles, bee lice and wasps were a serious challenge to the honeybees and beekeepers. Subsequently, the beekeepers were ranked the major pests and predators identified in their areas. Accordingly, ant was ranked first in Anderacha (26.67%), Guraferda (23.81%) and Shey Bench (25.71%) districts that causes disturbance, death and absconding of bee colonies. Overall, there are four different types of honeybee diseases observed in the study areas, namely, nosema, chalk brood, bee paralysis and stone brood disease. It was concluded that the overall pests, predators and diseases were seriously challenging the honeybees and beekeepers in the study areas. Thus, extension agents should alert beekeepers about the features of major pests, predators and diseases in their areas and educate them on controlling mechanisms.

Key words: Bench Maji, diseases, pests, predators, Sheka.