On the heels of four fatal bee attacks, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha has announced that the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will soon extend bee removal services to residential spaces.
According to the Minister, this service is already available to public spaces but the removal of bees from residential areas was undertaken through a collaboration with the Guyana Apiculture Society since that association has members across the country.
On Sunday (October 17, 2021), a man died at the Montrose Seawalls, East Coast Demerara (ECD) after he was attacked by bees. His death followed that of three other persons, ages 57, 58 and 61, who died on October 7 and 8 after similar incidents.
The GLDA has issued an advisory, warning persons against disturbing hives as that may result in the bees launching an attack. Persons are also advised to refrain from making loud noises or make attempts to dislodge or destroy the bees if they notice a swarm nearby. Persons are asked to contact the GLDA on 220-6556-7 for assistance with bee removal.
Additionally, the GLDA will, over a period of time, implement its strategic action plan which involves ramping up its surveillance efforts as well as the commence of a bee awareness campaign in the short term and work with regional authorities to allocate funds for bee capturing and relocation activities in the medium term. Training will also continue to build capacity amongst beekeepers through workshops and seminars in all ten administrative regions and mapping locations where wild swarms were located or bee removal was done.
Minister Mustapha through the Department of Public Information (DPI) said the GLDA has been tasked with developing a comprehensive plan of action to facilitate the removal of bees and determine how the captured bees can be used to expand the agency’s apiary, as Guyana plans to expand its honey production sector.
It was noted that this is the second honey flow season for the year. Annually, Guyana produces approximately 2000 tons of honey.