Apis melifera Sucking nectar from Lobelia sp flower.

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with my friends about the crop and fruit yields we use to have in plenty.

Our bushes and forests, use to be a host of all kinds of wild fruits from water berries to the fig tree fruits in our playfields where we were looking after our cattle, our backyard farms hosted hugely pumpkins and cereals. Manure piles in every household were covered with pumpkin family members even along backyard fences one could collect larger gourds to make containers. Today such experiences are none existence. As we probed what might have caused such change, we noted that the pollinators had reduced. The buzzing on our crop Flowers, Meadows, and shrubs on our roadsides and pathways had reduced significantly.

Who is killing the pollinators?

A moth foraging on P barbutus flower along the forest edges.

An article published on https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/economy/bees-butterflies-face-extinction-threatening-kenya-food-production-2113618%3fview=htmlamp Monday points out that it’s the farmer who is driving pollinators to extinction threatening food production. Due to demographic change, people are looking for spaces to inhabit, spaces to till and produce more to feed their families however this leads to the clearing of pollinator homes. Bushes that we’re hosting bats, shrubs that were hosting butterflies, moths, and other pollinator bugs have been cleared through burning or sprayed with herbicides that kill both herbs and pollinators. Huge logs with bee nests have been converted to charcoal and fuelwood leaving the bees homeless. In open fields where huge parcels of land are tilled farmers spray their fields with total disregard for foraging bees and other pollinators which leads to pollinators being killed. “Bees and other pollinators such as birds and bats affect 35% of the world crop production; increasing production outputs of 87 % of the leading food crop worldwide plus many plant-derived medicines. ” Www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1194910/icode/.

Action.

Apis melifera in bee trap nest.

Having said that there is a need to take action, small creatures that we ignore big-time matter most. Bread and honey on our breakfast table every day come from bees. Farmers should embrace bees and other pollinators by doing the following.

1.Start modern beekeeping as a business venture.

2. Use chemicals that are not harmful to pollinators.

3. Spray when pollinators are not foraging.

4. Embrace trees that attract bees like Dombeya sp, Fruits like Passions, Avocados and waterberries.

5. Work with government agencies like Kenya forest service and KALRO on new beekeeping technologies.

More Action recommended by UN On world bee day https://www.un.org/en/events/beeday/ take action

A wasp building a nest.