The days of harvesting Barbadian wild honey may be numbered as prospectors are reporting increasing danger from marijuana cultivators.
Bee farmers say more and more they are stumbling upon ganja plots resulting in threats to their lives.
One farmer told Barbados TODAY as recently as October last year, he was chased by a group of men after happening upon a marijuana patch while looking for the sweet stuff in a forested area in St Joseph.
The increasing danger has prompted President of the Barbados Bee Keeping Association (BBA) David Small to advise against searching for wild honey.
Small said those interested in the honey business should become beekeepers instead.
“If you hear of something that is going on, why would you put yourself in a position of compromise? We understand that people in Barbados want to make an honest living but that is why I would encourage anybody to keep bees rather than going in areas that you don’t know about. The only way I would do it now is if the hive is right by the side of the road,” Small said.
The BBA head told Barbados TODAY while he had never stumbled upon marijuana plantations, he was once sternly warned against entering a forested area by a group of guys who were apparently keeping an eye out for their illegal field.
Small added that since there was no fundamental difference in taste between honey produced by bees in the wild and that produced by bees raised on a farm there was no reason for people to take undue risks.
“There is no difference at all because in Barbados we do not feed our bees. For instance, I do not feed my bees, I let [them]act as if they are in the wild; I just provide a safer environment for them. So the same things they eat in the wild is the same things they eat on the farms, so there is no big difference in the taste of the honey, so there is no need to go risking your life.”
Meantime, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul is advising those who discover marijuana plots in the wild to notify the police immediately.
“I think they need to give the information to the police so that they can deal with the matter. If they know where these things are then they need to provide the information to the police so that the police could act on the matter. If they don’t share the information with the police then how could they expect police to help them? I would also like to say that the police should respond in a timely manner,” Paul stressed.