Some stakeholders in the Apiculture Industry have called for the protection and preservation of bees as the world commemorates the 2020 World Bee Day.
Apiculture is the cultivation of bees on a commercial scale for the production of honey.
The stakeholders expressed their views as participants in an online forum organised by the Youth For Apiculture Initiative (YFAI), with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in attendance on Wednesday.
The forum tagged: “Bees Engage: Protecting the Bees for improved Livelihood and Food Security through Youth Engagement” had various stakeholders speak on the importance of protecting bees.
The Chairman, the Board of Trustees of YFAI, Mr Ishayaku Mohammed said that bees were important in ensuring food security and without them man would barely be able to feed.
“I am excited to celebrate the World Bee Day 2020 with you today, today’s celebration of the day actually started from the 18th century.
“This conversation is one but what we should have at the back of our mind is that bees are pollinators; without bees there will not be food security, there won’t be food at all.
“It is for me, an opportune time to urge all of us to have a rethink about practices that endanger these very important inhabitants of our planets.
“They give too much and expect very little in return, I am happy to unveil to all us that the youths as usual have taken the initiative to be at the forefront of apiculture in Africa,” Mohammed said.
Mr Andrew Kwasari, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Agriculture urged all apiculture stakeholders to join forces to ensure preservation of bees at all cost.
“As we celebrate the World Bee Day, it is important that we understand the relevance of the bee; we owe the existence of our plants to the bee.
“According to Albert Einstein, ‘if the bee will disappear from the earth today, man will have barely four years to live.
“Imagine how important it is that the United Nation created a day that we celebrate bees and on that premise I will say the values of the bee to our planet is immeasurable and cannot be overemphasised.
“There is no other organism created by God that is almost as important as bees. We however have a lot of challenges in bee keeping.
“We in government know that there is need for appropriate policy that supports the bee, and policies should be tailored to support the environment.
“How do we use the power of the bee to sustainably fight climate change and create a resilient agricultural productivity because the bee is central.
“It is a known fact that we know the values that bees have and the role it plays in pollination and disease control,” Kwasari said.
Prof. Ahmed El-sawayi, the Director, African Union Inter Bureau for Animal Resources, represented by Dr Sarah Ossiya of the AU, congratulated the African Apiculture Sector on its giant strides.
“I want to congratulate Africa for commemorating and really making a mark on this year’s World Bee Day. Those who remember in Dec. 2017, Africa passed a resolution to have its own Africa Bee Day.
“We are discussing and celebrating World Bee Day in the context of COVID-19 and think it presents a lot of opportunities and challenges.
“This sector has opportunity to revamp agriculture; we want to look at pollination being given the same attention as fertiliser, water, quality seed, and pesticides so that there is a big side to agriculture.
“We want to see employment for the youths; we urge the youths and the women to be engaged with policy makers, speak up and let the sector be heard,” El-sawayi said.
NAN reports that Apiculture is the scientific method of rearing honeybees. (NAN)