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.”

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

Updated 05 July 2020

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

  • Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture

PARIS: Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that changes can only be faced with global efforts to achieve the common goals of promoting peace, building cultural bridges between nations, and empowering societies to guarantee a better future.

Saudi Arabia recently participated in the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council at the agency’s Paris headquarters. The Kingdom was represented at the session by Princess Haifa and a team of 26 Saudi experts from different sectors that have activities related to the scope of UNESCO’s work, such as education, culture, energy, environment, and training.

Princess Haifa said: “Despite our different cultures and languages, we share our belief that education is a right for everyone, that preserving heritage means securing the future, and that innovation and science are the bridge that will pull us out of this pandemic the world today is living.”

She said that the Kingdom supported African countries and was ready to share its experiences in various UNESCO fields, in addition to supporting action plans related to developing islands as one of its priorities in exchanging experiences, especially since the Kingdom is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the field of water desalination.

Reference was made to the Kingdom’s support for international growth and stability through the G20 presidency, specifically with regard to ensuring the continuity of education in crises, the continuation of efforts to achieve climate adaptation worldwide, and solidarity with the members of the G20 in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member state of the UNESCO Executive Council, Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture. These will be evaluated and decided upon, and the executive decisions assigned to them will be voted on, in cooperation with the council’s member states.

The Kingdom’s participation in the meetings of the UNESCO Executive Council also comes as part of its permanent presence in the international cultural and educational organization since its foundation in 1946.