Saudis demand protection of native bees

Saudi beekeepers have complained to authorities that their native bees are under the threat of persistent attacks by the bigger foreign bees and demanded measures to protect their insects.

Scores of beekeepers in the western town of Taif presented a complaint to the local department of agriculture demanding measures to protect their bees by ensuing imported bees are kept away from their beehives, a newspaper said on Monday.

“They complained that their beehives have already been badly damaged by repeated attacks by imported bees which are bigger than the native bees,” ;Altaif' online paper said.

It quoted beekeeper Musfir Al Zahrani as saying that there had been a wave of large attacks by imported bees on local bee hives at his farm and other farms in the area.

“When the honey harvest season begins, we find that our hives are surrounded by imported bees…when the season is over, most of those imported bees die because they can not stand the hot and dry weather as well as the scarce plants here,” he said.

“We have asked the department of agriculture to take measures to protect our hives.…these measures should include barring keepers of imported bees from coming close to areas where native bees live in order to protect and develop our bee wealth.”

The paper also quoted the department’s director Hamoud Al-Tuwairqi as saying they were working on new rules to ensure imported bees are kept far enough from native bees.

“We are seriously looking into the complaints by the keepers of native bees and will issue regulations soon to ensure those who import bees from other countries will stay away from local bee hives.”

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