APIS MELLIFERA CAUCASICA
F. Benton International Beekeeping Association unite beekeepers from different countries with aim to research Gray Mountain Caucasian honey bee and encourage beekeepers to breed and repopulate their hives with pure breed lines to improve the colonies health, to increase pollination quality and overall productivity.
Georgian flora is extremely diverse and rich. Located between the forests of northern Eurasia and the tropical deserts of Asia, and incorporating Europe's highest mountains and a subtropical coastline, it has a high level of biodiversity. (Read more)
(July 5, 1852 – February 28, 1919)
Frank Benton in Caucasus,
Georgia, 1905 (Source: National Geographic)
Frank Benton (July 5, 1852 – February 28, 1919) was an prominent American entomologist, researcher, beekeeping innovator and author. Benton studied at Michigan Agricultural College, University of Tennessee, the University of Munich, and the University of Athens. He was a member of various organizations: Bureau of Entomology in the United States Department of Agriculture, Entomological Society of Washington, North American Beekeepers Association, National Geographic Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also known for invention of special mailing cage for shipping queen bees (Benton Cage).
At the dawn of industrial farming, many countries faced sometimes formidable challenge of increasing agricultural productivity by naturally stimulating the plants that had been declared a priority for national farming and the agriculture industry. Numerous attempts to enhance the efficiency of local beekeeping farms did not lead to tangible results. It was then that a program arose for the US Department of Agriculture for the introduction of best suitable bee breeds capable of providing the farming with the most important biological functionality - pollination.
For this aim Benton traveled to many countries from Europe to Palestine and Far East. In 1905 Benton visited Georgia to further investigate the Caucasian honeybees which were already known to US beekeepers from 1890.
Here is what K. A. Gorbachev writes about this visit ("Beekeeping Life", No. 2, 1907, p. 45): “A famous American beekeeper visited us in the Caucasus. The purpose of his visit is to get acquainted with the Caucasian bee... Benton is delighted with the Caucasian bees and predicts the most brilliant future... There is another huge advantage for the Caucasian bees: their tongue is longer than that of the bees of Central Europe”.
Benton greatly supported the import of Caucasian (Georgian) Mountain Grey honey bees to the United States. It was only after Benton had been placed in charge of bee culture in the United States Department of Agriculture and made his second trip abroad, that Caucasian bees became well known in the USA. Based on a list of breeding facilities published by the US Department of Agriculture in 1943 (Bulletin E 297) there were 43 Mountain Grey breeding apiaries in the United States, including the first in Iowa, accounting for approximately 25% of all queens produced in the USA.
The merit of Benton, who opened the export of the Caucasian Bee to Western countries, is great. During his research of big bees (Apis dorsata) in India Benton contracted "jungle fever". Benton died at Fort Myers, February 28, 1919.
Aims and Objectives
Biology of Caucasian honey bees; studies of the behavior of queen bees, drones and working bees, features of various races; causes of death of families, problems of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Values for pollination; Impact on agroindustry. Pollination of legumes, clover, lucerne and other deep blossom plants.
Genetic foundations and prospects of selection and breeding, biometry and morphology, organization of (AI) instrumental insemination of queen bees, breeding of purebreed lines.
Organization of breeding, family appraisal, improvement of breeds, purebred breeding, provision of methodological and practical assistance to breeders, certification.
DECEASES & PATHOLOGIES
Research and implementation into practice of beekeeping an organic (bio) methods and means of combating bee pathologies and diseases, parasites and their pests.
The study of substitutes, the development and implementation of artificial food, inverts, the study and implementation of organic stimulating nutrition with proteins, minerals and vitamins.
PLANTS & NECTAR SOURCES
The study of honey resources of various climatic zones and recommendations for their proper use, recommendations for creating a reliable honey base, the creation of “honey conveyors”.
Research of honey, pollen, bee bread, propolis, royal jelly, etc. Beekeeping product quality control technologies.
Legal, technological and economic basis for the production of organic beekeeping products. Requirements for maintenance, feeding and treatment of honey bees in the production of organic beekeeping products.
GEORGIA - THE PEARL OF CAUCASUS
Conservation International designated Georgia as one of its 25 global "biodiversity hotspots" because of the area's exceptional number of endemic species which comprise about 9% of Georgia's flora, a surprisingly high proportion for so small country.Find out more...
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