Beekeeping in Oman

Traditional beekeeping in Oman has been part of the Omani culture for centuries. During the 17th century, Imam Saif bin Sultan, the 4th of the Yaruba dynasty (1692-1711), also known as an apiarist (beekeeper), raised different species of bees at the gardens of his fortress in Al Rustaq, Oman.

There are two main bee species in Oman: Apis mellifera, known as Common bee, and Apis florea, also called the Dwarf bee and is smaller in size than Common bee. The Dwarf bee is usually found or used in the northern region due to the mountainous landscape found in places such as Salalah (Dhofar), Rustaq and Nizwa. The Common bee is used across the whole country.

There are two main types of honey: Sidr (ziziphus-spina-christi) and it is light coloured and flavoured honey, and Simr (Acacia tortilis), which is thick and dark honey. The Sidr season is in the winter (October-November) and the Simr season is in the summer during the months June-July.

Traditional Omani bee-hunters are very skillful when it comes to tracking a wild bee colony. The bee trackers usually start to follow the bees from their water sources. This leads them to the trees or caves located in the mountains. The Common bee method include beehives that are built in hollow date palm logs called (tubl). Hollow logs are considered perfect vessels that give protection and maintain the right temperature for a bee colony.

Source: Report published by FAO


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