Rafter beekeeping with Apis dorsata: some factors affecting the occupation of rafters by bees

  • Published source details Tan N. Q., Chinh P. H., Thai P.H & Mulder V. (1997) Rafter beekeeping with Apis dorsata: some factors affecting the occupation of rafters by bees. Journal of Apicultural Research, 36, 49-54.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage wild honey bees sustainably

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Manage wild honey bees sustainably

    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).

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