Five serious things killing the bee population today
The importance of bees in the lives of humans is always underestimated, the reason why people are not doing enough to protect the bees.
Bees are critical in providing pollination to crops, therefore, without them, we would not have food.
While the world’s population is increasing day-by-day, the population of bees and other pollinators is steadily decreasing.
It is easy to blame the rather obvious reasons like use of pesticides for the falling population of pollinators.
However, experts are now pointing at rapid development as the major reason the number of pollinators is falling.
On this article we elaborate the development issues that are killing pollinators.
To create room for houses, developers are cutting trees that provide pollen to bees. This sends away the insects as they no longer have a source of pollen.
While real estate development is important as it provides shelter for human as well as shopping malls and other amenities, developers should be keen to spare trees, especially the indigenous ones, in the interest of the bees and other pollinators.
When it comes to landscaping, everyone rushes for the most beautiful flowers. They simply visit the nearest seedlings seller while others travel to big towns, far away, and select what they think would be best for their compound.
However, there are two things about landscaping. First, people import plants from far areas, say from Nairobi to plant in Garissa.
But the thing is the local bees may not be used to the pollen from the foreign plants and will, therefore, not visit them.
Second, it is about the flowers we choose. Some of the flowers are not pollinator-friendly. This means that they send away bees.
Therefore, it is of importance to involve experts while deciding on what exact plants to grow around your compound.
Highways and superhighways are rapidly being developed all over the country. While this is great for accessibility to various areas, it is not necessarily good for pollinators like bees.
As we develop the infrastructure sector, trees that are pollinator-friendly like the acacia are being felled without replacement.
After the infrastructure is developed, there is minimal replanting of trees, and when it happens, those who replant are barely aware on the fact that the trees should be local, and not foreign to fit the existing pollinators.
Allowing invasive species to freely grow within our compounds, including along the roads, is another threat to the pollinators.
The invasive plants overtake the traditional vegetation which was a great visitation for bees, thus suppressing the source of pollination.
Lack of awareness
The mention of pollinators sends the thoughts of bees to many. However, farmers need to know that there are several bee species and other insects that are beneficial.
The carpenter bee for example, is a very vital insect in pollination of the yellow passion. However, many farmers do not know this, and end up killing it thinking it is an ‘enemy’.
Besides, bee farmers should use biological control against pests and insects to keep off from killing bees. Besides honey bees that are commonly known to many, other pollinators are bumblebees, pollen wasps, hoverflies, bee flies and flower beetles.