he series of Caribbean Beekeeping Congress was conceptualised by Tobago beekeeper, Gladstone Solomon, who, having attended the 35th congress of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations (Apimondia) in Switzerland in 1995, was so impressed by the overall learning experience that he decided to replicate a miniature of the event in the region to provide opportunities for his regional colleagues to have similar experiences.
During the first congress in the series, held in Tobago in November 1998, participants unanimously endorsed the staging of a second regional congress, with several delegates undertaking to make representation for hosting of same on their return home. Successive congresses were held in Nevis in 2000, Jamaica in 2002, Trinidad in 2005, Guyana in 2008, Grenada in 2011 and St. Croix in 2014.
The broad objectives of the Caribbean Congress series are to:
- Serve as a forum for discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing the Caribbean beekeeping community.
- Identify appropriate strategies for advancing the sector.
- Facilitate interaction and regional camaraderie amongst stakeholders in a learning environment.
Dates, Venue, Theme and Host of previous Caribbean Beekeeping Congresses
First Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
17th – 20th November, 1998.
- Irvine Bay Hotel, Tobago.
- Securing the Future of Caribbean Beekeeping.
- Tobago Apicultural Society and the Division of Agriculture, Lands and Marketing, Tobago House of Assembly.
Second Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
14th – 18th August, 2000.
- Old Manor Hotel, Gingerland, Nevis.
- Expanding the Horizons for Caribbean Beekeepers.
- Nevis Beekeepers Cooperative Society Limited and the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, Co-operatives & Fisheries, Nevis Island Administration.
Third Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
16th – 20th September, 2002.
- Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston, Jamaica.
- Beekeeping Strategies for Reaping Sweet Success.
- All Island Bee Farmers’ Association, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the GOJ/EU Eastern Jamaica Agriculture Support Project.
Fourth Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
14th – 18th November, 2005.
- Crowne Plaza, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
- Adding Value to Caribbean Beekeeping.
- The Beekeeping Associations of Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Agriculture, Landand Marine Resources, and the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organisations.
Fifth Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
10th – 14th November, 2008.
- Guyana International Conference Centre, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana.
- Promoting Organic Beekeeping in Guyana and the Caribbean through Strategic Investment.
- Guyana Beekeepers’ Association, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organisations.
Sixth Caribbean Beekeeping Congress
23rd– 27th May, 2011.
- St George’s University,True Blue, Grenada.
- Strengthening, Securing and Sustaining Caribbean Beekeeping.
- Grenada Association of Beekeepers, the Government of Grenada, St. George’s University, Grenada, and the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organisations.
Seventh Caribbean Beekeeping Congress and Second Caribbean Bee College
26th –30th May, 2014.
- University of the Virgin Islands, Kingshill, St Croix, USVI.
- Strategies for Sustaining Small Scale Beekeeping Operations.
- University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organisations, the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, University of Florida; and the East Caribbean Bee Research and Extension Center, St. George’s University.