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Pick pollinator-friendly agriculture to celebrate bees for food security


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Pick pollinator-friendly agriculture to celebrate bees for food security


May 20th is World Bee Day; a day set aside to celebrate the great work done by this insect and other pollinators. FILE PHOTO | AFP

May 20th is World Bee Day; a day set aside to celebrate the great work done by this insect and other pollinators.

Raising awareness on the critical role of pollinators is crucial since they work silently so that they are easily forgotten by human beings whose very survival relies on them.

This day endeavours to bring to the fore man-made threats to the well-being of the bee.

The day has been observed since 2018 when it was passed during the UN General Assembly 72nd session that declared May 20 as World Bee Day.

This year’s World Bee Day theme is “Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production.” The goal this year is to create awareness on the adoption of agricultural production practices that are friendly to the bee.

Sustainable production of food from crops was a central theme amid a changing climate.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s current Strategic Framework promotes Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and a Better Life.

This small insect plays a role in ensuring better production through pollination, in the process making available nutritious food for humans and feeds for animals, not to forget its own food, honey, which has many nutritional and health benefits, its contribution to the well-being of crops and trees ensures a better environment.

All these subsequently contribute to a Better Life for all beings.

In addition, this insect is a major contributor to the realisation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development through the Sustainable Development Goals in its role to ensure food security.

Pollinators play a critical role in the well-being of the ecosystem; 75 percent of the world’s food crops and 90 percent of world’s wild flowering plant species depend on them to yield and feed humanity.

Bee pollination is not only critical to increased agricultural production but also essential for healthy forests and other plant life as well.

Therefore, the destruction of bees would have a negative impact on the agriculture and forest sectors.

Changes in agricultural practices, for instance, excessive use of pesticides and monoculture, are a threat to pollinators, killing them and reducing access to nectar, which is their food.

This is not just a threat to biodiversity but to the survival of humanity.

The use of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and even antibiotics results in the deaths of bees and other pollinators. Their death in essence kills biodiversity.

Reduction in bee populations due to human activities is similar to shooting oneself in the foot as it means almost a propionate reduction in crop yields and hence a slide towards food insecurity.

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