Awards 1990 World Vision Award for Development Initiative

World Vision Award for Development Initiative

Dr. Nicola Bradbear

The International Bee Research Association at Cardiff has a vast library of information on bees. Dr Nicola Bradbear, its advisory officer for tropical apiculture, is engaged in making this information available to beekeepers in the villages of the developing world.

The newsletter she edits has a circulation of 3,100 copies in these countries and it does reach the villages. "We don't want it in libraries," she says, "We want it in the beekeeper's hand."

It won a gold medal from the World Federation of Beekeepers.

It emphasises the point that local beekeeping practices can be best for their area. You don't have to have European bees and expensive European equipment. Apart from the newsletter, she also prepares information leaflets and charts, providing the concept, content and design herself: these are often taken up by educational institutions and by aid projects, and the charts have been translated into Arabic and other languages.

The newsletter, well illustrated with photographs and instructions, offers to far- from- wealthy people an inexpensive way of increasing their income. One issue showed how to make candles for sale. Another showed how attractive labels can increase honey sales. The newsletter informs its readers about new techniques successful in developing countries, about combating disease, and about publications and meetings. Advice is adapted to beekeepers' circumstances.

Construction of hive smokers from scrap metal, using a low-tech model described by Dr Bradbear, is under way in Madagascar.

Articles on tropical beekeeping appear in other journals and newsletters but no other publication is devoted to the developing countries and no similarly comprehensive and international information service is available to small beekeepers there. For many in the Caribbean, for example, it is the only source of relevant and practical advice. Few aid activities can produce such results for such small outlay.

Letters from all over the world respond to the newsletter and other publications. They come from extension workers as well as institutes and agencies. A Nigerian writes: "The Beekeepers Club is already taking shape. Thanks for support through the information we receive from you."

Dr Bradbear's father kept bees and gave her an interest in them. She trained in biochemistry with a particular interest in sources of protein available in developing countries. Joining IBRA in 1983 enabled her to combine her interests in world development and beekeeping.

She has been active in arrangements for the International Tropical Apiculture Conference to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1992 because of the interest in beekeeping there.