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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage wild honey bees sustainably Bee Conservation

Key messages

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We can find no evidence of the impact of reduced honey-hunting or improved harvesting methods on wild honey bee populations. One trial in southern Vietnam, showed that occupancy of artificial rafters by the giant honey bee Apis dorsata can be over 85% when rafters are placed by a large clearing greater than 25 m in diameter.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


In southern Vietnam, a form of beekeeping exists in which honey is harvested repeatedly from wild colonies of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata without destroying the combs, by persuading the bees to form colonies on easily accessible artificial rafters. Rafters are split tree trunks, erected on poles at an angle of 15-35° to the horizontal. A trial of 507 rafters erected by beekeepers in U Minh Forest, Minh Hai Province (Tan et al. 1997), showed that occupancy by bees was significantly higher when the open space in front of the rafter was very large, over 25 m in diameter (85% and 92% of rafters occupied in dry and rainy seasons respectively, compared to 33-51% for open spaces from 3 to 25 m in diameter).

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Dicks, L.V., Showler, D.A. & Sutherland, W.J. (2010) Bee conservation: evidence for the effects of interventions. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK