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Protect bees for food, ecological preservation

BY: Daily Graphic

Five years ago, the United Nations set aside May 20 to commemorate World Bee Day.

As expected, the day was marked yesterday with the theme: “Bee engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems”, underscoring the importance of a wide variety of bees and threats of protection to bees, other pollinators and beekeepers.

The Daily Graphic supports the commemoration of the day because it draws the world’s attention to the value of bees and the need to begin to think more broadly, particularly, in the context of ensuring the conditions for their survival and the survival of the human race.

The fact remains that bees are some of the most important pollinators, ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, and they significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of the environment.

Furthermore, they are also important in terms of sustainable agriculture and creating rural jobs. By pollinating, bees increase agricultural production, thus maintaining diversity and variety in our fields and on our plates. They provide millions of people with jobs and are an important source of income for farmers too.

The Daily Graphic is particularly delighted about the celebration of the day, especially, the recognition accorded the value of a small creature which is dreaded because of its painful and even sometimes deadly stings, especially when threatened, but very much loved because of the honey it produces for us.

At a time when the world is threatened by potential food shortages and worsening climate conditions, the role of bees should not be discounted. It is unfortunate that human activities are making them increasingly endangered.

In our dear country, for instance, there are large tracts of forest cover, a major habitat for bees, being destroyed with careless abandon.

Aside from the destruction caused by illegal mining activities in the heart of the forests, illegal loggers are also felling many of the forest trees which these useful insects use as their habitat.

Boštjan Noč, the initiator of World Bee Day and president of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association, said in the first year of the celebration of the day that to talk about reducing world hunger without ensuring conditions for the existence of bees and other pollinators is to pull the wool over people's eyes.

The paper associates itself with this comment because we need to pay particular attention to nature and appreciate the value and contribution of every creature to the ecology in our quest to protect and sustain our fauna and flora.

It is time for everyone especially leaders and decision-makers, to listen to bees.

This, in turn, requires us to take extra care of their survival, as harmful factors cause a decline in the resistance of bees, which affects their susceptibility to diseases, pests and the like.

Bees foster biodiversity in nature and have a positive impact on the entire ecosystem and are a good indicator of the state of the environment.

In this regard, we prevail on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the government as a whole to institute measures to prohibit the use of certain pesticides most harmful to bees.

The Daily Graphic would also want to see more aggressive steps to protect the habitat of the bees, mostly forests, to ensure that we are able to leverage the full benefits that bees offer us.

Sadly though, the role of bees in sustaining forests and forest-dependent livelihoods remains less known and appreciated in the country.

Bees are a fantastic resource: they are essential for sustaining our environment because they pollinate flowering plants. They sustain our agriculture by pollinating crops, thereby increasing yields of seeds and fruits.

We must act deliberately to protect the bee.