Special Presentation April 2nd, 2017 - Beekeeping: An Activity that Contributes to Rural Development in the Global South - with Gard Otis

Sunday April 2nd, 2017
2:00-4:00 pm
Jack Purcell Community Centre - Room 101
320 Jack Purcell Lane
Ottawa, ON K2P 2J5

Beekeeping: An Activity that Contributes to Rural Development in the Global South - with Gard Otis

Beekeeping holds the promise to rural farmers of enabling them to escape extreme poverty through the production and sale of honey and beeswax. However, far too often beekeeper "aid" projects leave behind no tangible sign of benefits

In his presentation, Gard will provide an overview of the wonderful potential benefits of beekeeping, then review some project failures and the reasons for those. He will focus heavily on a highly successful development project he spearheaded in northern Vietnam

By sharing their knowledge and expertise, a team consisting of a Canadian social scientist, Vietnamese extension staff, and Gard helped to create a sustainable enterprise that also contributed to improved standards of living of the beekeeping trainees and their increased status within their communities.

Short Biography: Gard W. Otis

Dr. Gard Otis is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph. While attending Duke University (Zoology, BSc, 1973), he “discovered” entomology and has dedicated his career to teaching and research about insects. He studies the ecology, behaviour, and evolution of insects, with an emphasis on honey bees, their pests, and butterflies.

In graduate school (University of Kansas, PhD, 1980) he studied rain forest butterflies and Africanized honey bees in Central and South America. Of his research, he is most proud of his thesis study of the swarming behaviour of honeybees; the breeding project he oversaw that greatly reduced the impact of the honeybee tracheal mite on bees in Ontario; and the rediscovery of the honey bee species, Apis nigrocincta, in Indonesia.

He also has a strong interest in beekeeping development in Asia. In 2014, his efforts to improve the lives of rural Vietnamese farmers through beekeeping were recognized through an award from the Government of Vietnam.

Presented by the Eastern Ontario Beekeepers' Association and Transition Ottawa