A virtual symposium in observance of World Bee Day was today hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise. Guest speaker at the symposium was Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise. In his remarks, Minister Mai spoke about the importance of bees to agriculture and acknowledged the work of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC) in ensuring beekeeping and honey as an industry are well-placed in the economy. He said the government’s Plan Belize targets for the agricultural sector include fostering food security, trade, exports, diversification, research and new markets, and honey production fall under all these headings.
The symposium looked at topics such as beekeeping and education; contributions to the industry by partners such as IICA (Inter American Institute for Cooperation), OIRSA (Regional International Organization for Plant Protection and Animal Health); and the impact of beekeeping on cooperatives.
The BMDC organized the symposium as a part of its marketing and development strategy in supporting and fostering the growth of local industries. The BMDC operates as a self-sustaining statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise.
Currently Belize has just under one hundred beekeepers managing around 2,000 hives and producing an average of 93,000 pounds of honey a year up to 2019 with an average production of 47 pounds per hive per year. At yearly productivity the estimated yearly total revenue for beekeepers in Belize is $620,000 retail price.