|Nigerian representatives at APIMONDIA|
As a few may know I was in Korea a few weeks ago to attend the APIMONDIA world event in Deajeon, South Korea. ‘API’ or ‘APIS’ has to do with bees and ‘MONDIA’ or ‘MONDIAL’ has to do with something involving the whole world. So, your guess may be as good as mine. APIMONDIA = BEES OF THE WORLD. It is the gathering of beekeeper, beekeeping machinery manufactures, entomological scientists and everyone that is a friend of bees. It is an event that holds every three years with participants from the world over. It was in Ukraine three years ago, this year it was in South Korea and in three years time it will be in Turkey. I hope to be there to; at least I will eat lots of turkey.
The event is usually divided into two sessions; the scientific sessions where there are new revelations and discoveries. This is subdivided into sub sessions like beekeeping for rural development, Apitherapy, Bee biology and many more. These sub sessions all run simultaneously with each presenter having about fifteen minutes each to make a presentation. Presentations usually run from around 9am till about 4:30pm. This runs through the week. Now you know there is much talk about bees. This year
It’s interesting to know how much there is to learn about this insect, some of which we will share in future publications.
The other session is usually exhibition of products and machinery. There you find various manufactures and producers of products. Nigeria had a stand sponsored by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), I saw a couple of people from my mother land Ghana to as well. Usually most participants are here, especially at the beekeeping awards gallery where there is the best of the very best products and machinery. Award winning products, to be specific.
What got my attention the most was the product range from Brazil, especially products around propolis. Brazil has a broad variety of propolis that is not found anywhere else in the world. I think this is so because of the diversity of flora especially in the Amazon. I particularly think that after bee venom, propolis seems to be getting much interest these days.
Let me gist you a little bit about propolis. The bees get it from cell sap of plants. For those of us who are Africans and are not ‘aje butters’; don’t ask me what the meaning of that is; you know that when you cut the back of a tree or any other plant, there is a fluid that oozes out. This fluid is meant for the healing of the injured plant actually because of its medicinal properties. Hence, bees take advantage of it and even us humans. The ‘aje phako’ use these tree backs to prepare ‘Agbo’ which is local medicine gotten from boiling tree backs and leaves. In fact today there is a centre for research into plant medicine, I think in Mampong Akwapem in Ghana. I am only trying to buttress the medicinal uses of cell sap from plants.
So these bees gather these saps and also use it for similar medicinal purposes in their hive. The advantage for us humans is that we get more than we would have gotten from our ‘boilings’ because the bees gather these sap from several plants beyond and over what we human can. It also cannot be toxic to us because such harmful toxins would have killed the bees in the first place so you will now find proplis in natural products have deal with tooth issues, ulcers and various forms of illness. You know that interestingly it was revealed at APIMONDIA 2015 that propolis found in areas where there are particular disease conditions have antibiotic and other properties that particularly cure those disease conditions. What I mean is that if cough is common in Abuja, the propolis in Abuja has high contents of antibiotic properties that attack the virus that causes cough. Wow. I my next publication I hope to talk more about a man that has worked for about 25 years on propolis from all over the world and some of his findings. I pray he grants me permission to go ahead and write about him.
I enjoyed my one week stay in Korea. My good Korean friend Kim was good company on my last day in Korea. We boarded the same fast train from Deajeon to Seoul. I missed Miss Julie and Mr. Kim (not my friend). I used to be their driver in Nigeria and hoped to meet them when I got to Korea but they were on official assignment in Pakistan and Laos respectively. ‘if them dey, chai; I for chop the life of my head’.
So stay tuned, I will write on propolis again next time and my trip to the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Italy in subsequent editions. Chau.