African farmers can boost food security by attracting bees, says FAO study

bees DancestrokesThe FAO study indicated crop yields were much lower in farming plots that attracted less bees during the main flowering season. (Image source: Dancestrokes)The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released a new study that for the first time shows the positive impact bees have on crop yields as they move from flower to flower to fertilize plants

According to the FAO, bees may have a vital role to play in improving production levels for around two billion smallholder farmers worldwide and enabling the food security and nutrition of the world’s rising population.

Scientists assessed 344 plots across Africa, Asia and Latin America and found that crop yields were greatly lower in farming plots that attracted less bees during the main flowering season than in those plots that had more bees.

The FAO also noted that for many years, bees have laboured fields across the world, with wild bees being overshadowed by the honeybee which provides golden nectar.

“What do cucumbers, mustard, almonds and alfalfa have in common?” reported the FAO in a press release.“On the surface, very little; but there is one thing they share: they all owe their existence to the service of bees,” the agency added.

 

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