In Nigeria, and across the world, bees are crucial to agriculture, the environment and livelihoods.
This is why the Federal Government of Nigeria considered it necessary to embark and fund a Bee project in Nigeria for Nigerians.
The the aim of the platform is to monitor Bee health across the country to detect pests and disease which threaten food security. It will also help farmers to capitalize on Beekeeping, by developing new marketplaces and improve quality-testing for honey and Bee products.
Why are Bees so important?
Honeybees are the most valuable pollinator worldwide. Just over 100 major crops account for about 90% of all production. Of these, 71% rely on bee pollination to be able to reproduce season after season. Some foods whose flowers are pollinated by Bees In Africa include watermelon, coffee, traditional vegetables, and many more.
Many high value crops in developed countries such as almonds, apple, avocados, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries are almost entirely reliant upon pollination services of commercial beekeepers.
As environment continues to change, bees could help to boost agriculture production in the vulnerable communities. Food production in the tropics is expected to decrease significantly due to climate change, urbanization and population pressure. If we can improve on crop yields, we could fully compensate for this loss in productivity, incomes and nutrition.
What is Insect Pollination?
- Insect pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same or different flower to ensure fertilization, so enabling the plant to develop seeds
- Pollination is an ecosystem services that most plants need, which enables 10% of food crops to yield fruits, vegetables and other seed
- Pollination also rebuilds seed for 70% of other non-food plants like trees and flowers on earth
- The most important crop pollinators are bees (e.g. honeybees, carpenter bees and stingless bees). Other animal pollinator species include butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, certain flies, some wasps and nectar-feeding bats.
What benefits do we derive from pollination?
The benefits are economic and ecological as
- Food security
- Improved livelihoods
- Conservation of the biological diversity in our agricultural and natural ecosystem.