Being part of the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hot spots, Lebanon is blessed with a rich biodiversity encompassing a wealth of vegetation that provide surplus nectar and pollen to foraging bees. Despite the long tradition of beekeeping in the country, having a high standing quality and leading honey producers, the productivity of this sub-sector has always been low both at the level of domestic utilization and export earnings. After some recorded success during the last a few decades, recent reports show that honeybee colonies in Lebanon are presently deteriorating due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and many other challenges. These include pests and diseases, pollution, indiscriminate applications of pesticide, destruction of vegetation cover, climate change causing the disruption and death of honeybees. This decline has alarmed Lebanese government, beekeepers, NGOs and environmentalists about the need to promote beekeeping improve honey production and conservation of native honeybees to ensure high pollination during local flowering seasons.
The objective of this project is to contribute to the conservation of the Syrian bee (Apis mellifera syriaca) and production of high quality honey in the unique settings of BAU Bekaa and Debbieh campuses and surrounding local areas. This will be achieved through the installation of 100 beehives and creating a platform for the implementation of Goal 7 (Deepening Public Engagement) of BAU Strategy 2020. By collaborating with Lebanese Beekeeper NGOs, international NGOs and development programs, the project will contribute to capacity building and facilitate hands-on training within the educational and ecological environment of BAU. It provides the opportunity to educate students, beekeepers and farmers on the importance of honeybees to ecology and development. Furthermore, the project will make available local honey and hive products to BAU and broader community.