The importance of bees for agriculture.

ORANJESTAD - The Department of Nature and Environment would like to inform the community on the significant role bees have and how to protect bees.

There are many pollinators, like birds, butterflies, bats and bees. However, bees are the most important ones.

They contribute to 80% of produce we harvest, both directly as indirectly. Bees are significant and the key for the existence of nature. Worldwide bees are classified as the most important pollinators for the existence of plants and harvest of produce.

Bee flies to a flower to get some nectarThere are about 20000 bee species with the most popular being the honey bee. These are kept in man-made bee hives. They are responsible for 30% of the food production chain for human consumption. In other words, without these bees, there would be 30% less produce for consumption available.

Bees are not only relevant for their pollination abilities, but also for the production of honey. Adult bees spend most of their time collecting nectars out of flowers for the production of honey. Why honey?

Bees have 4 needs in order to survive and one of those 4 is having enough food. They should have a good stock of food to cover the drought period.

The other 3 needs are; appropriate climate within the hive, proper living place and available nest building materials.

There are many factors that can reduce the amount of bees; the use of pesticides, bacterial and parasitic infection and deforestation. It is a mixture of the elements that can drastically reduce the bee population.

Bee in a cornfieldThose should be the factor to keep in mind in order to protect the bee populations. In Aruba there are many bee keepers, the so called “Imker”

Imkers are bee keepers and are responsible for the production of bee honey but are also called when bees build nests in unwanted areas. These are carefully moved to other locations. There is a preservation program called “Adopt-a-beehive” at the Cunucu Mondi Fierno. This program encourages those who have an available terrain to make this available for the temporary relocation of bee nests when needed. In return you will receive a part of the honey production. Donations are also welcome for this cause.

The DNM  extends its gratitude to all the organizations who have incentive programs like this. These programs provide the necessary protection for the survival of our nature.

At the same time, the DNM urges pest controls to call for the relocation of the bee nests in a natural way, instead of eliminating them with pesticides. Only by collectively protecting the bees we can guarantee their existence and their help in the production of fruits and vegetables.