Beekeepers in Saudi Arabia’s Asir embark on seasonal honey journey

Photo:SPA

The Asir region in Saudi Arabia is well known for the production of organic honey throughout the year, given the area’s climate diversity.

In order to achieve a high quality production and an abundance in yield, bee breeders are keen on transporting hives depending on the climate and rainfall. During summer, beekeepers head to the Sarawat Mountains, also known as the Sarat, with thousands of hives.

The area has a moderate weather during summer in addition to an abundance of trees and flowery shrubs, which are welcomed by many bee species and considered the top source for the famous Asiri honey.

This migration of honey producers from the plains of Tihama to the Sarat mountains follows the end of the “Samar” and “Alsalm” trees season, which are used in the production of honey during summertime in Tihama.

A report on the Saudi Press Agency quoted Mohammad Abdu Al-Shehri, a well-known bee breeder in the province of Al-Majareda in Asir, said the migration of bee keepers to mountainous areas aims to protect bee hives from high temperatures in summer, as well as to produce new types of honey from trees that grow in mountainous areas, such as “Al-Talh,” “Al-Darm,” and “Al-Sharm.”

According to estimated statistics of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture branch in Asir, the number of beekeepers is about 5656, while the number of bee hives is approximately 1,809,920.

Although many beekeepers may still prefer the conventional ways of producing honey, others have begun to use modern methods to increase production, sayind that modern tools of beekeeping have proved to be more productive.

They make it possible to examine bee colonies and their frames well, besides monitoring bee activities, especially the queen. they also allow detecting diseases and parasites and make the extraction of honey easier.

Expert beekeepers in Asir stressed on the importance of preventing imports from outside Saudi Arabia to avoid the transmission of diseases and the ferocity of some species, which would attack local bee hives. 

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture provides different services for beekeepers to support the production of local honey, which is known for its high quality.

The director general of the ministry’s branch in Asir, Faisal Al-Ziad, said that honey is one of the most important agricultural products that the ministry is keen to develop and support beekeepers through physical and logistic initiatives.

Some of these initiatives include granting permits to enable them to obtain an agricultural loan from the Agricultural Development Fund and facilitate their movement in various locations. 

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