Earth Day: Get to know the wild plants and animals around you
22 April, 2021

The impact of bees on agricultural production and food security

By: German Pacheco instructor Beekeeping Plant module, Food and ScienceTechnology Department (AGI).

 

Bees are insects that belong to the order Hymenoptera. There are more than 20,000 known species of bees in the world. Some of them are social bees that build complex nests within cavities or in the open (Arnold et al., 2018). The high honey-producing Apis mellifera bees and some solitary bees are part of these species and build their nests using such materials as resins, plant material, mud (clay) or wax, either on the ground or on dry trees.

 

Bees play a very important role in agricultural production. They contribute with pollination to improving yields and the diversification of thousands of plant species. According to a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, “If the bees disappeared, humans would have 4 years of life.” Due to the important role that bees play in the world diet and considering that their population continues to decline, May 20 has been declared as World Bee Day (UN 2018).

May 20, 1734 – Anton Janša is born in Breznica, Slovenia. Janša came from a long line of beekeepers and became a pioneer of modern beekeeping. Bees were a frequent topic of conversation with neighboring farmers, who met in the village and discussed agricultural and beekeeping practices.

2016 – At the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Europe, the Republic of Slovenia proposes May 20 as World Bee Day, to be celebrated every year with the support of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations

2017 – The World Bee Day proposal is submitted to the 40th Session of the FAO Conference for consideration. The General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously proclaims May 20 as World Bee Day.

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Importance of bees in Zamorano

The bees in Zamorano play an important role in achieving the pollination of different crops in production and research, as well as in maintaining the biodiversity of some species such as orchids.

In the honey and by-products module of the Food Science and Technology Department, basic knowledge is transmitted relating to the management of apiaries, harvesting and the safe processing of such bee products as honey, pollen, royal jelly, wax and propolis. A project of “Insect Hotels” is currently being developed, creating spaces for the reproduction of pollinators. In the project the students are playing an active role by participating in the construction and maintenance of these structures.

References

Arnold, N.; Zepeda, R.; Vásquez, D. y Aldasoro, M. 2018. Las abejas sin aguijón y su cultivo en Oaxaca, México con catálogo de especies. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR). 1ra. (Ed). Chiapas, México. 147 p.

DICTA, Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria. 2019. Manual Técnico de Apicultura. Tegucigalpa, Honduras. [consultado el 17 de mayo de 2021]. http://www.dicta.gob.hn/files/2019,Manual-tecnico-de-apicultura.pdf

ECOSUR, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. 2015. Manejo de las abejas sin aguijón en Mesoamérica. Chapas, México

FAO. 2004. Food and Agriculture Organization. Conservation and management of pollinators for sustainable agriculture the international response. In: Freitas, B. M. and Pereira, J. O. P. (Ed.) Solitary bees: conservation, rearing and management for pollination. Imprensa Universitária. Fortaleza, Brasil. 19 p.

Gerardo G. 2019. Manejo racional de las abejas nativas sin aguijón – ANSA. 1ª ed. Argentina: Ediciones INTA. 48 p.

ONU, Organización de las Naciones Unidas. 2018. Resolución aprobada por la Asamblea General el 20 de diciembre de 2017.

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