Making agriculture more bee-friendly

At a time where bee populations are crashing around the globe, it is estimated in South Africa that we will need to double the number of currently available beehives just to meet the expansion of SA’s fruit industry. This does not take into account the 160 000 hives currently needed to service the country’s 40 000 ha of Macadamia orchards, which too are set to double in the next decade.

The challenge is, “we don’t currently have 160 000 hives in the whole country” according to Dr Hannelie Human in this Farmers Weekly article, as she stresses “the need to protect what we do have to ensure sustainable harvests.” The article makes interesting reading, especially with Dr Human identifying the loss of sustainable foraging as the key driver for the decline in bee populations across South Africa, rather than the usual culprit – pesticides.

The article looks at the need to ensure bees have a diverse diet to stop them moving on from an orchard, as well as the impact alien species removal programmes, such as Working for Water’s removal of Eucalyptus has had on bees. It is a short and yet engaging article that is worth a read.

Photo by Damien TUPINIER on Unsplash

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