Identification of Honey Source Bee Floras During Major and Minor Honey Harvesting Seasons in Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia

Abera Hailu Degaga


In this study, honey source bee floras of major and minor honey harvesting seasons were assessed in Jimma zone, Southwest Ethiopia.  Purposive sampling technique was used to select nine kebeles; three from each of three selected agro-ecological districts (Gera-highland, Gomma-lowland and Shebe-sombo-lowland). A random sample of ninety beekeepers was interviewed using a structured questionnaire.  Key informant interview was done with all study district’s beekeeping expert, development agents (DAs) of the study area and some individual beekeeper. The mean beekeeping experience of the respondents in the study area was around fourteen (13.59 + 9.745) years. The maximum mean experience (22.5 + 11.84 years) was observed at Anja-genbo kebele, in low-land agro-ecology. The lowest mean experience (8.3 + 3.164 years) was observed at Choche-lemi kebele, in midland agro-ecology. In the range of 1 to 3 times per year, the mean honey harvesting trend per district was 1.73 + 0.45 (Shebe-sombo/lowland), 2.17 + 0.45 (Gomma/midland) and 2.23 + 0.62 (Gera/highland). Understanding the honey source floras and their ecology is vital for implementation of the management practices of their habitats. Common honey source floras mentioned by beekeepers in all of the three agro-ecologies were Vernonia Spp., Coffee arabica and Croton macrostachyus. Guizotia scabra, and Bidens spp. were common honey source floras in lowland and midland agro-ecology. Based on the responses, there were some dominant bee floras in each agro-ecology for the source of honey namely: Schefflera abyssinica in the highland and Combretum molle in the lowlands. Ethiopia generally has diverse habitat and flora for honey bees.

Keywords: beekeeping; Ethiopia; flora; Jimma zone; honey; honey source;

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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