2023 World Bee Day: Ogun Beekeepers seek Govt’s intervention, urge residents to invest in honeybee

2023 World Bee Day: Ogun Beekeepers seek Govt’s intervention, urge residents to invest in honeybee

Beekeepers has called on the Government of Ogun State led by Prince Dapo Abiodun to create a department which its main responsibility will be to offer solutions to varied challenges mitigating beekeeping, its value chain and to do more in the protection honeybees.

Speaking during the 2023 World Bee Day Celebration, Mr Ayinla Ogunrombi, the Secretary of Abotokio SF Beekeeping Community, Ika-Orile, Yewa North, Ogun State, Nigeria on behalf of Professor Oyerinde Akeem on Bee Engaged: The role of Honeybees on Sustainable Rural Development, stated that its high time Government intervened in the affairs of bee keeping considering its value chain to generality of human existence, adding that without honeybees, there will be no pollination which fertilizes all other plants.

Mr Ayinla Ogunrombi

He explained the contributions of Honeybees on Sustainable Rural Development, adding that Beekeeping is a feasible way to assist poor rural people in creating and improving their source of income, stressing that it is a good venture for the landless poor Rural Dwellers to diversify livelihood economic activities, also as a means of Balanced Nutritional Package for Rural and Urban people through Apitherapy, as well, as an Effective Alternative to Conventional Medicine both in Rural and Urban Areas.

“Bees are responsible for the diversity of plants in the forest, both wild and cultivated crops are pollinated by honeybees. More than two thirds of crops we consume come from direct pollination of bees. If bees should go into extinction, the survival of human on earth is threatened.

“For Bee keeping to take its rightful position in poverty alleviation and human wellness, both the State and Local Governments should provide a legislative framework which will ensure annual budgetary allocation, and adequate security of honeybees from illiterate farmers and herdsmen.

“Just as farmlands in the government reserved areas are allocated for food and cash crops farmers, government needs to allocate some of the thick forest reserves for Beekeepers to guard against scarcity of food, because without honeybees, no plant can bear fruit, be it food or cash crops”, Ogunrombi said.

Earlier on Thursday, the year’s activities began with a Radio Talk by Mr Asade Elijah on Ilaro Poly Radio 92.1FM on Thursday, 18th May, 2023 where the listeners were educated on the genesis of the World Bee Day Celebration as an approved event by the United Nations in order to protect Crop Pollinators including the Honeybees, importance of the Honeybees and their products, the need and how to protect them and their ecology through avoidance of Pesticides, Pollution, Controlled Bush burning, Tree planting, Biodiversity Conservation, Regenerative Agriculture, Afforestation Climate Change Mitigation and other means.

He fielded questions on the Slow Food Beekeeping and Food Production philosophy where he told the public to start food production for family consumption as a start without using synthetic fertilizers, weedicides and pesticides in order to have good clean and fair food for healthy living and longevity.

Mrs Bankole Elizabeth Odunyemi presented a paper on behalf of Mr Durogbola, an Excel Honey Nigerian UK based Beekeeper and Bees Abroad’s Nigeria Beekeeping Trainer on Bee Engaged: Bees as Crop Pollinators, a necessary tool for Environmental Conservation.

Mr Durogbola, emphasized through the paper, ways to Conserve the Environment and Protect our Crop Pollinators including the Honeybees ranging from Increase in Habitat Availability, Monitoring the Honeybees Population, Increasing the Floral population, Honeybees Colony Management, Honeybees Pests and Diseases Control and many more.

Presenting a paper on behalf of Mrs Bisi New, the Bees Abroad Nigeria Project Manager Manager titled: Bee Engaged in Pollinator Friendly Agricultural Production. Mr Asade Elijah the Spokesman, Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping Community Abotokio expatiated on the essence of the Honeybees, quoting Albert Einstein, “if the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live”.

Corroborating the statement, she posited that adequate insect pollination determines quality and quantity of the crop such that uneven and small fruit are often an indication of insufficient pollination. Adequate pollination by insects ensures early flowers set seed. This results in a uniform and early harvest, which gives the crop maximum time to mature.

If we lose our pollinators, according to her paper, we will lose a significant contribution to human food, we will damage our food security and the natural environment will be much poorer.

“Bees are excellent indicators of the state of terrestrial environments including responses to global warming. This is a responsibility on all of us, we should all engage in Bee Friendly Agricultural Production, as producers, consumers, buyers, sellers, fathers, mothers, children, leaders, followers, and human beings. It is not just up to those who are agricultural producers. We all have a part to play to protect pollinators and safeguard our future. And we can all act locally to do what we can at home”, she added .

In terms of economic value, Mrs Bisi New stated that “an estimated 35% of crops produced all over the world depends on insect pollination. Crop pollination services provided by the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is valued annually to be worth 14.6 billion U.S dollar”.

“Human practices like regular clearing of forests or cutting of verges around field crops and home, use of Pesticide (herbicides and insecticides) do kill insect indiscriminately and destroy flowering weeds within crops. These are probably the most serious threat to insect pollinators in agricultural areas and provide the greatest deterrent to using honeybees as pollinators.

Mrs Bisi New concluded her paper proffering way out on the dwindling rate of the honeybees species by “taking opportunities to observe bees as they do their work out in nature on our behalf; taking action to increase local forage by planting, conserving, protecting nectar bearing bushes, trees, and flowering plants”.

Guests in the audience were given opportunities to honey tasting, inspection of beehives products and Beekeeping equipment, posters on Beekeeping and Pollination. There was tree planting during the World Bee Day Celebration to encourage participants on growing more melliferous plants to support the honeybees and safeguard the dwindling plant resources to effect Biodiversity Conservation.

The highlight of the event was the declaration of Ketu Indigenous Peoples Network which is to be coordinated by Mr Simon A. Fakeye, the group Media Team Lead and Oba Gabriel Akanbi Ogunji Slow Food Community, Ijoun to be headed by Mrs Ogunrombi Elizabeth.

As a matter of interest, the coordinator of Ifesowapo Slow Food Beekeeping Community Owode Ketu, Yewa North LGA, Mr Aliu Oderinde, reported that there wee testimonies from residents of Owode Ketu on the potency of Secondary Beekeeping Products.

Mr Oderinde said the beneficiaries of the products has opened up on how honey byproducts have solved some of their health challenges, adding that the group will remain grateful to Bees Abroad UK for varied capacity building training offered.

“Beeswax Candle for example has assisted an Asthma patient in stemming down the attacks. The patient reported progressive changes since the Beewax Candle was introduced.

“Also, tens of people have expressed their satisfaction on the miraculous power of Beeswax Soap and Body Cream to clear rashes and other related Skin problems”.

He charged the participants to be keen to the ongoing training sessions in order to have more business opportunities as the Beeswax Candle, Soap and Body Cream can be a livelihood impactful enterprise.