“What’s happening in the Caribbean should not be confused with colony collapse disorder (CCD).”

March 12, 2014

From: Inter Press Service

Heavy Rainfall Washing Out Honey Production

By Desmond Brown

DUMBARTON, St. Vincent, Mar 12 2014 (IPS) – Allan Williams, 32, is an agriculture extension officer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But as a trained apiculturist, he has also been involved in beekeeping as a hobby for the past seven years.

He has seen beekeeping grow significantly since 2006, as stakeholders became increasingly aware of its importance to the agricultural sector, and thus an important contributor to economic growth and development.


Rupert Lay, a water resources specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), says climate change has begun to cause difficulties for bee farmers not only in St. Vincent but throughout the Caribbean.

“An interesting indicator occurring currently is the little to no production of honey in the region,” said Lay, who is participating in the USAID-funded Reducing the Risks to Human and Natural Assets Resulting from Climate Change (RRACC) project that is being implemented by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

“This can be linked to the unpredictable weather patterns affecting farmer’s beehive colonies and thus honey production,” he told IPS.

“These events are disrupting farmers’ livelihoods which in turn affect adversely the fabric of society and livelihoods, including education. A farmer’s stress can be recognised by his or her children, thus creating worry which leads to decreased attention spans in the classroom manifesting in poor performance,” Lay added.

Williams pointed out that what’s happening in the Caribbean should not be confused with colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honeybee colony abruptly disappear.

While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, and were known by various names, the syndrome was renamed CCD in late 2006 in conjunction with a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honeybee colonies in North America.

Colony collapse is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by honeybees.

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