Ministry Working To Enforce Beekeeping Standards

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The Ministry of Agriculture is working ‘assiduously’ to enforce guidelines and standards for beekeepers, Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Sharmaine Melville-Edwin has announced.

Last month, a swarm of bees attacked a 55-year-old Grace, Vieux Fort woman who died the following day.

The incident in the community where a honey producer operates is under investigation.

In an interview with the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Melville-Edwin emphasised the importance of mitigating measures when inter-phasing with bees.

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“This is one of the reasons why we want to move forward with this strong public awareness so people can know how to interact and to dispel any fear that people may have as it pertains to the sector – as it pertains to bees because we are seeking to grow and flourish the sector,” the Chief Veterinary Officer explained.

“So there are mitigating measures that will be put in place to ensure that such incidents do not occur. So the Ministry is working assiduously to enforce our guidelines, to enforce standards, to ensure that our beekeepers are in compliance with standards and procedures and put in further measures to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” she stated.

Melville-Edwin disclosed that there has been a lot of interest in beekeeping with a lot of financial injection into apiculture.

As a result, she expected that the sector would contribute even more to agriculture and GDP.

“Apiculture has a lot to offer and the government and Ministry – by extension the government, has invested in apiculture and we hope to expand, increase honey production because there’s a great demand for honey in Saint Lucia as people see the health benefits of it,” the Chief Veterinary Officer told the Agriculture Ministry’s Communications Unit.

“We need to increase supply to meet that demand,” she stated.

Melville-Edwin spoke as the Ministry of Agriculture convened an apiculture stakeholder meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop a strategy to further enhance the sector and raise awareness through a public communication initiative.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I see lots of “Armchair Beekeepers” spouting “advice” of what they know nothing of.
    The mis-education of mis-information.

  2. ST Lucians have no consideration for their neighbor s. They play music as loud as they please, they burn trash when the wind blows in your direction etc. What makes it worse there is no where to turn to for help, thus creating the atmosphere for vigilantism.

  3. @beekeeper, if it’s in your house we would call the authorities, if it’s in a tree you would have called the authorities, IF YOUR NEIGHBOR HAVE IT IN YOUR BACKYARD, you would have gotten the authorities involved, my point is it is in the F**king backyard.
    Let me explain to you a little further, if you have your land and the neighbor have his land and it is 6” away from your boundary but is still on the neighbor land, your a33 would have still call the authorities. Like the news said the construction workers that’s not on the property have to run for their live cause they(bees) will attack them. IT IS TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSES.
    When they migrate we all do the right thing and call the authorities cause we feel frighten, whether or not we interfere with them, cause we now how dangerous they are.

  4. @ beekeeper, I would agree with you if the land was the beekeepers land. Furthermore wondering off in your own backyard simply says that the bees are way to damn close. The beehives are closer than 50 meters to some of the houses. You can’t go to a mango tree if the bees are not there, you can’t go to a plum tree if the bees are not there, you can’t open your doors and windows if the bees are not there. So I would strongly believe you need to shut your hole if you don’t know the close proximity of the bees.

  5. The family should sue the beekeepers and all the agencies like GEF funding/encouraging their operations for wrongful death. There were no safety measures in place for having this operation in a residential area.

    • Exactly, the houses and the people were there longggg before this man came to live on the property. He ask for a spot to build a house and not a bee farm, had a had mentioned the bee farm, it would be have been granted. All of a sudden you want to have 40 beehives in the area that’s as close to 30, 40 50 and less than a hundred meters to your neighbors. You can literally have a conversation between houses on the property so tell me how the hell can you have a bee farm there. Is it for the sake of money choops?

  6. I agree Troy 100%. If this had happened in any country where rules/regulations are upheld and taken seriously, the owner of these bees would have known what time it is. Bayteez! Some of you have all excuses for the crap people do in St Lucia. Talking about the lady was partially blind. Wake up and smell the bloody coffee! It could have been a minor that this happened to.

  7. Lady was partially blind. Chances are she bumbled into the hive. Bees felt threatened and attacked her. Unfortunate but nothing to do with the bee keeper. Had it been a hive in a tree near her house the same thing would happen. Are you going to cut down all trees?

    • Don’t you think the responsible thing for the Bee keeper to have done is FENCE the BUSINESS property to avert such a potential disaster? Bees are very dangerous creatures as poor lady found out, it could have also been a small child then what?? Our value for human life is sadly lacking in this society of ours!!

      • Or how about the relatives of the blind person supervise that relative 24/7. If the lady bumbled off a cliff would you blame the cliff as well. Bees don’t attack unless they feel their home is threatened. This is the same for most animals. This UNSUPERVISED partially blind person trespassed on the person’s property and met an unfortunate fate. Likewise a child should not be left UNSUPERVISED. And you should teach your child not to trespass on people’s property.

    • @BEEKEEPER, the property is not his, that’s family land. The lady grew up on the land, he did not. My question is why would Ministry of Agriculture allow this man ( cousins ) to have a bee farm in a residential area. The bees are pretty close to all the houses around the area. You could be in your room using perfume, that would trigger the bees cause like I said, they are too close to the houses.

      • You’re missing the issue. Bees are not cows, goat or sheep. You try to create the conditions for bees to remain where you keep them but they still do their own thing. The point about land is irrelevant. It could’ve been on the neighbour’s plot of agricultural land adjacent and the blind lady could’ve still bumbled into the hive and met the same unfortunate fate. The bees could’ve set up residence in the walls of the house and the same thing would happen. It could’ve been on a tree branch and she could’ve met the same fate. The issue is you had a partially blind person not having the necessary supervision.

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