5 International Awards, Research and Consultations Manufactured at the Bee Research and Honey Productions Unit
In light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Saudi universities sought to activate their role in the development of the Saudi society through promoting research and knowledge economy. From this standpoint, King Khalid University in Asir region is keen to harmonize its research roles to serve the development of the region’s natural resources, and for this KKU established a Bee Research and Honey Production Unit .
The university aspires, through the Bee Research and Honey Production unit , which was established by His Excellency the President of the University, Prof. Dr. Faleh bin Raja Allah Al-Solami in 1438 AH, to achieve excellence in the field of bee science, beekeeping and its products. The unit also strives to publish specialized scientific research according to international standards that can be used on both the local and regional level.
In attempt of excellence the university was keen to create and provide a hospitable environment for bee and honey production, through equipping the unit with the latest tools and devices to serve the best research outcomes. In addition the unit provides technologies that diagnose diseases and pests, and raise bee queens.
The unit is also assembled with an applied research apiary (in house and mobile) that includes an academic laboratory and areas for researchers and technicians, as well as 4 laboratories that include : a laboratory for analysing bee products, a laboratory for diagnosing bee diseases, and a laboratory for queen rearing. and a bee venom production laboratory.
Director General of the Bee Research and Honey Production Unit, Prof. Dr. Hamed Al-Gharamah, explained that the unit seeks to achieve a number of goals that will promote and develop beekeeping and honey production in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. First of which is the realization of Vision 2030 through conducting research and scientific consultations and developing aspects of applied practices, in addition to registering patents in the field of manufacturing new devices that contribute to the production of honey. He added that the unit also aims to publish scientific research in international scientific journals and apply research results into products that contribute to our national economy. He stressed that one of the unit’s most prominent goals is to achieve cooperation with international laboratories specialized in beekeeping and honey production, to solve issues related to bee farming and production.
Regarding the unit’s projects and research partnerships, Al-Gharamah confirms that there are a number of projects and partnerships with in the units agenda among which is a project to produce high-quality local honey in commercial quantities from the products of Sidr, Salam, Majra, and Qatada honey and the production of summer honey and flower honey treated with the Zamzam water formula.
In order to achieve support for knowledge economy and in terms of its social responsibility, the unit has implemented 9 training courses for those interested in bees and honey products since its establishment.
In terms of Asir region’s projects, the unit is working on a project to define standards for honey production and mapping honey plants in the region. The unit is also working to create an atlas of pollen grains for honey plants to identify the plant origins and increase the production of queen bees and royal jelly. In addition the unit seeks to increase the production of medical antibiotic “Propolis” from bees, and monitor bee diseases. Another main project carried out by the unit is extracting volatile oils from plants to combat beeswax naturally, as well as studying the design of bee haves and insects that attack honey plants.
The Bee Research and Honey Production Unit not only limited its work to Asir region, but has also published 150 scientific research papers in internationally classified scientific journals, in addition to 8 published scientific thesis for master's and doctoral degrees. The unit also registered 3 patents in the field of bee science and participated in Honey festivals around the Kingdom.
In reference to international participation, the Bee Research and Honey Production Unit at King Khalid University achieved 5 international awards, it won first and second places for its honey during its participation in the Second International Conference for the Arab Society for Beekeeping and at the fifteenth conference for the Asian Beekeepers Association during the year 2019. The unit also came in third place for best honey at the second international conference (Africa B Expo), which was also held in 2019 in Tunisia, in addition to achieving two awards in the 2023 Paris International Competition for the best honey in the world.