Biodiversity campaigners have advised bee farmers and crop farmers to plant bee-friendly trees because without bees plants will not produce.
To some environmentalists and experienced bee farmers, without plants there will be no successful bee farming because the bees like human beings depend on these plants for food.
Although biodiversity campaigners and farmers exchanged their professional notes during a bee-farming workshop in Buea a few years ago, the recent climate changes that have affected plant fruiting seem to have a direct impact on honey production, some bee farmers have observed.
During the bee farming workshop in 2014 organized by BOBEFAC, bee farmers were advised to plant bee-friendly trees around their apiaries and farms so that bees can feed and also produce honey for bee farmers.
High bee absconding rate
“Farmers raised the problem of bees absconding because of lack of pollen and nectar, this problem can only be solved by carrying out agro-forestry farming, which is, planting more trees to bring back the bees and keep them comfortable; this will also help to enhance the fight against global warming”, Ndumbe Ekema Stephen, a biodiversity campaigner in Buea told TFV after the workshop.
To Ndumbe, bee farmers should “plant more trees to bring back absconded bees and enhance the fight against global warming.” Pelliccione Federico the representative of LAGGIUNGLA-ONLUS an Italian civil society organization that funded the workshop to train bee-farmers on how to go about the trade profitably with respect to environmental norms said bee farmers should plant trees in the apiaries to provide food for the bees.
“It is not easy to deal with climatic changes, when bees see that the place is not comfortable they go away, so the bee keeper should plant trees in the apiary to provide food since bees also have an impact on the environment as they pollinate trees while looking for food”, Pellicione advised the bee farmers.
Adverse climatic changes affecting bees and plants
To some experienced farmers, the effects of climate change are all over and bees are not spared as they continue to abscond due to difficulties in getting pollen and nectar. Apart from proper management of bees in the hive, farmers were advised take precaution by planting more trees around their apiaries to avoid bees moving long distance in search of food. Under difficult conditions, some of the farmers said, bees will make little honey and thus the farmers will likely not make bountiful honey harvests.
“The effects of climate change are visible on bee farming, the rains have reduced and honey production is dropping as a result of low water, so, as a bee keeper you must provide water for the bees and bee-loving plants must be planted within the apiary”, Lyonga Mbake Samuel, a bee farmer for close to 2 decades and coordinator of BOBEFAC said.
Bangsi Daniel Song