Image Jenny Castaño/Pixabay

Beekeeping is an important source of income for many rural livelihoods

Of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees. The honey bee is the most widespread managed pollinator in the world with 81 million hives producing 1.6 million tonnes of honey annually.

There is a wide diversity of values linked to bees and pollination beyond agriculture and food production. Bees and their habitats provide ecological, cultural, financial, health, human and social values. Beekeeping is critical for local development as it typically requires minimal investment, generates diverse products, can occur without land ownership or rent, and provide flexibility in timing and locations of activities.

Beekeeping can also form the basis for gaining and transmitting knowledge about ecological processes.  Furthermore, understanding of flowers and pollinators is part of the knowledge base for local communities around the globe. Products produced by stingless bees, such as honey, wax, pollen and the bees themselves, are used by many indigenous peoples for different purposes, which include nourishment, traditional medicine, activities related to their spiritual and contemplative life and hand-crafting. 

More information:

Review of pollinators and pollination relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in all ecosystems, beyond their role in agriculture and food production

Air pollution's effect on bees Video

IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production