Researchers breed better honeybee

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Researchers breed better honeybee

Korean scientists have created a honeybee breed that can collect 31 percent more honey than normal honeybees.

The Rural Development Administration (RDA) said it developed the honeybee with a variety of crossbreeds between pure strains of domestic and foreign honeybees, through joint research with the Yecheon Insect Institute in North Gyeongsang.

The new breed is expected to increase bee farms’ income by about 70 billion won a year ($62.6 million) and raise the annual amount of honey production by 6,300 tons.

It is also expected to boost the competitiveness of the domestic apicultural industry by raising the average honey production capacity per hive from 16.8 kilograms (37 pounds) to 22 kilograms per year.

Korea’s honey production per hive is one-third of those in Canada, Australia and China and half of those in the United States and Germany. The new breed is expected to help Korea meet the international average production capacity of 23 kilograms.

“The development of the new variety of honeybee secured a foothold for the domestic bee breeding research. We plan to breed not only those honeybees with higher abilities to collect honey but also those with greater resistance to diseases,” said Lee Myung-ryeol, who works for the RDA.




BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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