Deputy Minister warns bee population threatened by climate change and pesticides

Honey bees and bumblebees are among the essential pollinators of the ecosystem.

By John Bunian

Saturday 21 May 2022 10:32 GMT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 – The world’s bee population is under increasing threat due to changes in climate and soil conditions as well as the widespread use of pesticides, the Deputy Minister of Health has reportedly warned. ‘Agriculture and Food Industry, Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.

Ahmad was quoted by Sinar Harian saying that the lack of bee population will affect the pollinations which produce food sources in the ecosystem, subsequently also affecting the lives of the human population in Malaysia, as honey bees, bees solitary bees, stingless bees and bumblebees are pollinators. .

“The situation around the world this year shows a significant drop in bee populations. The rate of extinction of pollinating species such as bees is now 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal due to the impact of human activities. .

“Changes in land use and landscape structure, intensive agricultural practices, monoculture and the use of pesticides contribute to the fragmentation and degradation of their habitat,” he reportedly said in his speech during the launch and celebration of World Bee Day 2022 in Serdang.

Ahmad said climate changes like rising temperatures, droughts, floods, past climatic events and changes in flowering period can also have negative effects which can effectively affect pollination.

“In the West alone, millions of bee colonies have been lost due to the disturbance phenomenon of colony destruction since 2007. In Malaysia, there was a great loss of bee population around 1996 to 1997 in due to an epidemic that could not be well controlled at that time.

“In 2016, thousands of stingless bee breeding colonies died due to the El Nino phenomenon,” he reportedly said.

He said conserving bees and managing them effectively can preserve food chain resources, especially in the agricultural sector.

“I have also been informed that the MY Bee Savior initiative is part of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute’s (Tuesday) efforts to raise awareness about the importance of bee sustainability.

“The initiative set up in 2015 has expanded its activities not only to save bees by moving them from the area to the refuge, but also to reintroduce bees to agricultural areas that are already losing their population.

“It also includes designing and planning public awareness campaign activities, from social media to local programs,” he explained.

Ahmad also added that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry sees great potential in the beekeeping industry to realize the ministry’s direction towards strengthening the country’s agribusiness sector and improving the incomes of the target group. .

“This is in line with MAFI’s focus to make the beekeeping industry a strong, sustainable and profitable source of income. In fact, this industry can improve the agricultural industry ecosystem that supports modernization of agriculture, private sector investment and development activities,” he said.

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