FAO: Bees must be protected for the future of our food

Amman, On the eve of the first World Bee Day, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has urged countries and individuals to do more to protect bees and other pollinators or risk a sharp drop in food diversity.

In a statement, a copy of which received by Petra, FAO said that bees are under great threat from the combined effects of climate change, intensive agriculture, pesticides, biodiversity loss and pollution. “We cannot continue to focus on increasing production and productivity based on the widespread use of pesticides and chemicals that are threatening crops and pollinators,” the statement said.” More than 75 percent of the world’s food crops rely to some extent on pollination for yield and quality. The absence of bees and other pollinators would wipe out coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes and cocoa, to name just a few of the crops that rely on pollination.

Pollinators, such as bees, wild bees, birds, bats, butterflies and beetles fly, hop and crawl over flowers to help plants fertilize. Pollinator numbers and diversity have declined in the past decades, and evidence indicates that the decline is primarily a consequence of human activities including climate change which can disrupt flowering seasons.

Sustainable agriculture practices, and in particular agroecology , can help protect bees by reducing exposure to pesticides and helping to diversify the agricultural landscape.

“With the World Health Organization, FAO has also developed the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management. This provides a framework on best practices that can help decrease the exposure of pollinators to pesticide.

The official ceremony for the first World Bee Day will be held tomorrow in the Slovenian village of Breznica, 50 kilometres north-west of the capital, under the patronage of Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor. Breznica is the birth place in 1734 of Anton Jansa, an apiarist and a pioneer of modern apiculture. His birthday, May 20, was chosen to be marked annually as World Bee Day.

Source: Jordan News Agency