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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18, (KUNA): Although Kuwait is largely a desert country, except for some trees and seasonal shrubs that dot the arid lands, beekeepers have succeeded in producing high-quality honey in large quantities. Bader Yousef Bin Hussein Al-Roumi, interviewed by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), said he had succeeded, following years of experiments in making two kinds of honey; Al-Sidr mixed with rose water, flower and citrus honey. Al-Roumi started raising bees and producing honey 20 years ago as a hobby. It had dawned on him to keep the insects when his son, Shamlan, had presented to him natural honey. In the beginning, he installed four beehives, but now he boasted of a colony of 21 ones that produce up to to 220 kg of honey per year — 110 kg in the summer season and the same amount in winter.
Al-Roumi, who distributes the products to his relatives and friends as gifts, says he is happy to make pure honey, which can cure some diseases, particularly among old people. Best species that can bear the Kuwaiti harsh and dry climate are those of Egyptian origin, said Al-Roumi, who imports the beehives from Egypt, at KD 24 per each. An Egyptian beehive hosts 500 insects with the queen. Beehives should be placed close to green locations, away from filthy places, roads and residential areas.
Toufic Abdullah Almeshari, the assistant secretary general of Arab bees raisers and head of the honey research center at Kuwait Scientific Center, told KUNA that Kuwait hosts 10,000 beehives, placed at farms, outside houses and at schools. Number of beekeepers has soared to 500, largely as a result of encouraging courses about honey-making practice, held by the club annually. Beekeepers place the beehives in March and harvest the honey in June. During this period of time, the insects feed on Eucalyptus trees and various species of flowers that grow in Kuwait in the spring.
The second season begins in September and ends in December. The product is largely extracted from Al-Sidr and Alfalfa. Bulk of the Kuwaiti honey is made of extractions from Al-Sidr. The country won a gold medal for the product at an international conference, held in South Korea in September.
As to problems facing keepers of the useful insect, Al-Roumi mentioned high summer heat and lack of sufficient knowledge about the practice among some amateurs. Kuwait produces 25-35 tons of honey per year. Local production covers 25 percent of the local consumers’ needs. The Kuwaiti product costs KD 10-30 per one kg ($=KD 0.3) Honey is largely viewed as a natural anti-biotic and immunity booster.