Saudi Arabia to ban import of foreign bees by 2020

Bees from abroad can cause harm by breeding with, attacking or contaminating local strain. (AFP)
Updated 27 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia to ban import of foreign bees by 2020

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia last week decided to implement a ban on the import of foreign bees in the next three years.
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli acted against threats that imported bees pose to the local strain.
Beekeepers are threatened by many problems that imported bees bring with them. One of the biggest risks is cross-breeding. If the imported bees are bred with local bees, they will stain the purity.
The beekeepers are afraid that if the cross-breeding continues, the original breed might become extinct.
The Saudi Apis mellifera jemenitica is a breed that can survive in the extreme climatic conditions of Saudi Arabia, which many bees aren’t able to, and produce high-quality honey. They are smaller, slender and yellow in color.
It isn’t just the genetic manipulation; the imported bees attack local bees.
They are also the carriers of diseases that contaminate local bees and cause great loss; beekeepers do not just find a few dead bees when disease spreads — they find hive upon hive empty.
Beekeepers took these problems to the minister of environment and agriculture. The minister held a meeting with the president of Nahali Makkah Society and came up with the solution of entirely banning the import to preserve the bees and prevent extinction.
Consequently, fewer bees will produce less honey, so less honey will be available for selling locally or internationally, which might cause a disruption in the market.
The local honey market in Jeddah, located in Bab Makkah, is one of the largest in the Middle East.
Ten to 15 percent of the honey sold in this market is local; because of its scarce amount, this honey is purer and more expensive than the others.
When we talked to Abu Waheed, a local shop owner, about the effects of the ban on the market, he said: “Honey will become rare; therefore, the price will become much more than it already is. Local honey is 10 percent of my shop and it is three times more expensive than Pakistani, Yemeni or Russian honey.”
He added: “If there are fewer bees producing it, the price will rocket through the sky.”


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.