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The specialist international beekeeping organisation
Bees are some of nature's most fascinating creatures, they are also incredibly important. Their intimate dependency relationship with plants makes bees a crucial component of successful ecosystems the world over. As primary producers, plants are fundamental to life. Plants provide the basis of the food chain for all creatures as well as providing shelter, protection and nesting sites. People utilise plant based natural resources for food, fuel, shelter, useful materials and commercial gain. Plants maintain watersheds, prevent soil erosion and are a factor in climatic stability. Pollination is therefore essential for agriculture and environmental management and a variety of pollinators are required to maintain reproduction across a broad spectrum of flowering plant species. In their turn the pollinators require protection of the plants on which their life depends and the habitats within which these plants grow. The greatest threat to pollinators is unrestrained habitat destruction, degradation or pollution.
Beekeeping can play a role in the conservation of forests and natural systems. The flowers of forest trees are the primary food of honey bees in many parts of the tropics. For example miombo forests in east and central Africa support many hundreds and thousands of bee colonies and traditional beekeeping is widespread and successful throughout the miombo zone. Yet miombo woodlands are under threat from land conversion and the charcoal industry and deforestation is rampant. Beekeeping provides local communities with an economic incentive to protect the woodlands and, where they have the opportunity to do so, local people can be encouraged to engage in conservation projects.
Image©Primo Masotti firstname.lastname@example.org
When bee farmers preserve or protect established forest they also preserve fragile soils from erosion and land slippage, they support natural watershed management and become a factor in the protection of forest biodiversity. Indigenous tree planting or agroforestry techniques designed to maximise a honey crop can also help to establish new forest areas or encourage the uptake of environmentally sensitive methods of multipurpose agroforestry or farming. Beekeeping projects often link beekeeping training with environmental training and tree planting.
Bees are under threat and need to be conserved. They are threatened by habitat destruction and killed by environmental pollution, pesticides in particular. In some parts of the world indigenous bee species are threatened by the importation of alien species which compete for food and dilute their genetic integrity.
North Western Bee Products is a successful honey trading business in Zambia, exporting honey to the UK. Every jar of honey sold makes a contribution to the beekeepers family, to the survival of their way of life and the preservation of the forest on which they depend. For forests to be preserved it is essential that local people benefit from them by obtaining economic harvests. Successful, non-destructive economic exploitation of an environment will lead to producers gaining a voice in the protection of their local natural resources and equally importantly, a say in the development of government policy which has to balance the needs of a range of sometimes conflicting land users.
6 documents and 0 reference documents found
Graham M.D. Wren S. and Adams W. M., published 2009, Laikipia Elephant Project PDF on this website
Paper (pdf file) in English
By Ole Hertz DenmarkFor the last three years the Danish NGO Nepenthes has been working with a DANIDA-supported project concerning the environmental awareness among young local people. The ...
Hertz O., published 2005, Bees for Development Journal 76 Text on this website
Article In Bfd Journal (text file) in English
Gallai N. Salles J. Settele J. and Vaissiere B.E., published 2009, Ecological economics 68 810-821 PDF on this website
Journal (pdf file) in English
In the remote North Western Province of Zambia lies a great plateau covered by forest. Here the scattered villages are isolated clearings in the bush which stretches like a dark green ocean to ...
Bees for Development, published 1991, Bees for Development Journal 20 41953 Text on this website
Article In Bfd Journal (text file) in English
KENYA Guardian bees It appears that the African bee Apis mellifera might assist in the increasingly important task of protecting African smallholdings from elephant damage. Although ...
Fritz Vollrath Iain Douglas-Hamilton, published 2002, Text on this website
Article In Bfd Journal in English
Your story This story was submitted by Ernest Musonda of Zambia. Seven years ago beekeeping was not heard of in our district. With the coming of a governemnt/IFAD sponsored ...
Musonda E, published 2009, Bees for Development Text on this website
In many countries in the world the most natural and undisturbed environments are those which are within protected areas such as national parks, wildlife parks, forest reserves and nature reserves. ...
Bees have a very close relationship with the wider environment. It is not adequate to consider only the bee hive or the apiary, we must understand how the bees relate and interact with ...
No trees - no bees: no honey - no money Bees and trees are interdependent and have been perfecting their relationship over the last 50 million years or so bringing about pollination and the ...
The effect of climate change on beekeeping is currently entirely speculative and likely to occur in ways that are not predictable. An internet search on the topic reveals almost no information ...
Protecting bees from pesticides The unsafe use of pesticides can kill bees. Bees are insects. Consequently, preparations that are designed to kill insects (insecticides) will be dangerous ...