One out of every three bites of food we eat is a result of pollinators like honey bees. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops — which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees. Bees – including the managed honeybees, together with many wild species – are the predominant and most economically important group of pollinators in most geographical regions. Yet, they are on a decline worldwide. Over the past 10 to 15 years, beekeepers have reported weakening of bee numbers and colony losses, particularly in Western European countries.
Our relationship with the bee is one of our oldest relationships compared with any other animal on this planet.
What’s killing the bees
In the last half-a-century our ancient partnership with the bees has been threatened by a number of factors: pesticides, disease, drought and habitat destruction, pollution, global warming etc. All these factors are interrelated and have as a cluster cause the bee numbers to tumble. Selling poison to farmers in the garb of pesticides is profitable for pesticide companies (about 150 different chemical residues have been found in bee pollen).
The continuous conversion of grasslands and forests to industrial agriculture farms are another reason for the decline of the bee population. Fixing this destructive agricultural system is also key to reverse this bee decline.
What we can do about it
- Start by not using pesticides that harm the bees . The best way to do this is to go Organic.
- Preserve Wild Habitat
- Restore Ecological agriculture.
What Elven Agri is doing about it
The number of working bee colonies per hectare provides a critical metric of crop health. We have installed about 26 bee hives in our Organic Farm to pollinate our farms and do our bit in preserving the bees. We practice Organic Farming. Our approach to agriculture is also different. As part of our plans for long term environmental management and ecological agriculture we have developed our farms around the already existing trees in the farmland. We practice sustainable farming practices and are Rainforest Alliance certified. We’re continuously integrating trees into our farming system in order to nourish and protect the soil, improve yields and encourage local wildlife. Preserving and increasing wild habitat protects the health of our pollinators, helps save the bees. This restoration process further also improves crop yields.