By Mercy Omoike
An apiculture expert, Mr Yusuf Adeyemo, has restated the relevance of bee farming in enhancing food security in the country.
Adeyemo, the president of Youths for Apiculture Initiative (YFAI) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
NAN reports that apiculture is the science of raising or maintaining colonies of bees and their hives (beekeeping).
The apiculturist noted that the adoption of beehives by local farmers on their farms could help increase their yields at harvest.
“Beehives can contribute immensely to food security in the country. Bees are major agents for pollination in crop cultivation. In developed countries bee hives are used for pollination services on farms.
“Most crops cultivated for food require pollination services for better yields. The only insect with the greatest pollination qualities globally is the bee.
“Bees also have economic benefits. If farmers set up beehives around their farms, it will help increase the crop yield and quality at harvest,” said Adeyemo.
He also noted that beehives could help increase crop yields by 30 per cent, if farmers engaged the insects on their farms.
“Beehives planted around crop farms will help increase yields up to 30 per cent than farms that do not have any.
“At the same time, the bees also benefit from the crops and will produce quality honey.
“The adoption of beehives on local farms is a win-win situation for the crop farmers in terms of increased yields and for the bees also.
“For example in California, U.S., beehives are transported with trucks from one farmland to another to increase crop productivity,” Adeyemo said.
In addition he noted that, “We rarely have beehives on our local farms because of the excessive use of harmful agrochemicals and pesticides, which repel the bees.
“Crop farmers should use crop-friendly herbicides and pesticides, so as not to repel the bees.
“We encourage farmers to have more beehives around their farms to increase crop yields and ultimately ensure food security,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Fatima Sule Abdullahi/Salif Atojoko