Since around the beginning of 2019, the larger Barbadian public has been made aware of a developing beekeeping industry on the island. However, few people know that it had been a decade before then that the Barbados Beekeepers Association (now the Barbados Apicultural Association) was formed and founded. While its initial focus had been on the production of honey for commercial purposes, its scope has since expanded to include a wide range of other products and services from wax to pollen and crop pollination. And business just keeps on growing!
Since 2010, the Barbados Apicultural Association has sought to develop and promote the beekeeping industry in Barbados through a variety of means and innovations. It has devised Bloom Charts, lists of bee-friendly flora and other methods of data collection and analysis to better aid and ensure the continued health and prosperity of the island’s local bee population. This, likewise, has resulted in a new initiative to educate the local populace about bees and the vital role that they play in our planet’s ecosystem!
Alongside this primary goal has also been the equally meaningful goal of import substitution- that is to say that the locally consumed honey (more than 96% of which is imported for the price of approximately one million dollars BDS per year) will be replaced largely by locally produced honey for which there has been increasing demand since as early as 2015, but with a very notable supply shortage of trained beekeepers to meet this demand. As such, with passing time, the Barbados Apicultural Association has further mobilized and ramped up its efforts and initiatives with regards to the upkeep and maintenance of local bees, hives and colonies as well as its endeavours to increase local competence in this very vital area of expertise.