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Beekeeping on Taiwan Island

  • Mei-Chun Lu
Chapter

Abstract

Taiwan Island possesses a very diverse plant fauna that has enriched its nectar sources. Beekeeping started 300 years ago for native eastern honeybee (Apis ceranae) cultivation, and the large-scale rearing did not develop until the introduction of western honeybee (Apis mellifera) in 1910. The main nectar sources in Taiwan Island are longan (Dimocarpus longan), lychee (Litchi chinensis), and tea tree (Camellia sinensis). Most of the beekeepers have performed migratory beekeeping in pursuance of the nectar sources from south to north of Taiwan for honey collection. Currently, approximately 184,000 hives are kept, that most common honeybee species of the honeybee species is Apis mellifera. The annual yield of honey is ranged from 8000–12,000 tons, royal jelly 370–460 tons, beewax 290–464 tons and bee pollen 500 tons. Small-scale beekeeping (<300 hives) is dominant operation, which stands for 90% of beekeepers. Honeybee has provided approximately 80 million USD income for more than 940 families annually as well as ecosystem services. To ensure sustainable beekeeping development, a series of policies has been promulgated to enhance the quality of bee products, such as Chinese National Standard (CNS) for honey and royal jelly, certified and traceable code for bee products and the longan honey championship activity. However, bee diseases and pests have greatly hindered development of apiculture. Parasites and diseases such as Varroa mite, American foulbrood, European foulbrood, chalkbrood disease, Nosema disease, and bee viruses are frequently occurred in the apiaries throughout Taiwan Island. Beekeeping industry is also affected by global climate change and the use of pesticides in the region.

Keywords

Beekeeping Apis mellifera Nectar source Pest Disease Bee product Taiwan 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miaoli District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Council of Agriculture, Executive YuanGongguanTaiwan

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