bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Varroa, war and insurgency hit Iraqi beekeeping

From half a million hives in the early 1980s, Iraq's managed bee colonies are now thought to number 25,000.

Though a traditional mountain pursuit for centuries, beekeeping only began using movable frame hives as late as the 1950s. But since then varroa and two Gulf Wars have severely hit Iraqi beekeeping. During the wars, hives were “looted” and broken up for firewood. Today migratory beekeeping is virtually impossible and many orange bushes are no longer pollinated by bees.



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