Friday, April 29, 2016
Saudi Gazette, 4.27.2016
JEDDAH – Honey and beehive products can cure up to 500 diseases and even prevent thousands. Moreover, training in Saudi Arabia is needed to produce professional beekeepers as well as physicians practicing alternative medicine using honey, according to Professor Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, supervisor of the Abdullah Bugshan Chair for Bee Research at King Saud University and chairman of Beekeepers Cooperative Association (BCA), who spoke to Saudi Gazette on the sidelines of the 13th Asian Apicultural Association Conference.
The 3-day conference, which concluded on Tuesday, was organized in an Arab member country for the first time by the Bee Research Chair of King Saud University.
“Our goal is to gather practicing physicians to present the scientific facts,” Prof. Alghamdi said. “Saudi production is relatively weak compared to consumption. We import 14,000 tons annually. One of the problems we have is that despite the big number of beekeepers, approximately over 5,000, the trained professionals may not even reach 1%.”
He added the BCA aims to focus on training at an official institute specialized in training beekeepers.
When asked about Saudis’ receptiveness toward alternative medicine, particularly apitherapy, he said it was favorable. He said “people usually prefer natural products especially because they don’t have side effects.”
Under the theme of “Natural Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development”, leading doctors and apitherapists from 35 countries presented various subjects related to bees, products, technology, and obstacles of beekeeping in climate, care, among others. Activities and workshops were attended by Saudi beekeepers and physicians. Over 100 exhibitors both locally and internationally from countries including Turkey, China, Germany, the United States, participated at the conference.
Dr. Stefan Stangaciu, president of several organizations and associations, including the Apitherapy Consulting & Trading International Ltd., the German Apitherapy Society, and the Romanian Apitherapy Society, displayed the latest scientific practices and products in apitherapy. Speaking to Saudi Gazette, he said beehive products are important to prevent hundreds and thousands of diseases. Secondly, it can treat between 800 and 1,000 diseases according to scientific literature...