Effects of baits and hive type on colonization of African Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera) in the Lake Albert Crescent Zone of Uganda
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Beekeeping in LACZ is still based on traditional technologies and practices and characterised by alarmingly low colonisation rates and low production. An experiment was set up to investigate the “Effects of baits and hive type on colonization of African honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the Lake Albert crescent zone of Uganda”. The experiment consisted of 16 langstroth, 16 log and 16 Kenya Top Bar (KTB) hives sited at Bulindi ZARDI. Four of each hive type was baited with beeswax, cow dung, ripe banana and four of each hive type was unbaited to act as controls. Data from the experiment was collected for two seasons. Bait type had significant ( p < 0.05) effect on colonization and of all the hives that were colonized, 62.5% were baited with bees wax and a high proportion of uncolonised hives 91.7% was recorded among the Unbaited(control) hives.Hive type had no significant (P >0.05) effect on colonization. Of all the hives that were colonized, up to 53.1% were KTB compared to 31.2% local (log) hives. Low colonization rate was recorded in langstroth (78.1%). Season had no significant (P >0.05) effect on colonization although it was recorded that in season B (July – August) the rate of colonisation was higher (43.8%) compared to 27.1% in season A (January – February). It was observed that, interaction between bait type and hive type had no significant (P> 0.05) effect on hive colonization rate. The KTB hive had high interaction (75%) with the bees wax and cow dung. It was also observed that there was no colonization of langstroth hives baited with ripe bananas. It is concluded that beeswax is a suitable baiting material for increased hive colonisation than ripe banana which may not actually attract bees, in the LACZ. KTB hives colonise better than langstroth and log hives. In order to maximise colonization in KTB, bees wax or cowdung are the best combinations. Bees wax is expensive and hard to get and so farmers can use cow dung to bait KTB since it is locally available and cheap compared to bees wax.