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

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.”


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 14 min 17 sec ago

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”