Ja’lan Bani Bu Hassan: In view of the economic importance of beekeeping, efforts are on to encourage the activity in suitable areas of the Sultanate.
Considered one of the old Omani professions, beekeeping is one of the main sources of income for many families working in this field. It helps support the national economy by meeting the local market need for Omani honey and exporting the surplus outside the Sultanate.
An annual Omani honey market is held in the Sultanate with the participation of many beekeepers from various governorates in the Sultanate in order to introduce the Omani product of honey and other bee products. The market represents a platform for honey producers to share expertise in the field of honey bee breeding.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, represented by the Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock in the Governorates of South and North A’Sharqiya in Ibra, is seeking to encourage the Omani beekeepers to breed the Omani bee strain, in order to obtain abundant production of high-quality honey.
Abdullah bin Salim Al Harthy, Director of the Department of Beekeeping at the Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock in the Governorates of South and North A’Sharqiya said, “The Directorate provides the necessary support to beekeepers by providing tools that contribute to the breeding of Omani bees, and the production of abundant quantities of Omani honey of high nutritional value. It also conducts many awareness-raising programmes, lectures and seminars for beekeepers on the accurate methods of Omani beekeeping. It distributes manuals about healthy methods for Omani beekeeping. There are 488 beekeepers and 290,36 hives in the Governorates of South and North A’Sharqiya according to the Directorate’s statistics of 2019.”
Al Harthy added, “Among the conditions that must be met when establishing a bee apiary is that it should be in an agricultural area devoid of other bee apiaries, with no more than 100 hives, that the area is quiet and away from pollution and noise. It is important to put the hives under trees to avoid exposing the bees to high temperatures in summer.
Khamis bin Salim Al Ghaithi, one of the beekeepers in the Wilayat of Ibra said, "The honey beekeeping project is considered one of the economic projects with good revenues. It contributes to providing job opportunities for job seekers. Beeswax is used in many industries, the most important of which are the manufacture of wax structures, pharmaceuticals, lighting candles and some types of cosmetics."
The price of (Abu Tuwayq) honey reaches OMR150 per kilogramme.
It is worth noting that Omani honey is characterised by its high quality and high nutritional value due to the large plant cover of various trees, which provides good natural sources for pollen and nectar for honeybees.