RE: “Bees important in the production of food – experts” (The New Times, September 25).
While this is a noteworthy article, Dr Kinuthia is unfortunately making a huge assumption in pollination understanding. She and most all of her entomologist peers believe that the honeybee is a pollinating bee.
While it does inadvertently pollinates, its primary role as a hive is to survive the winter with stored honey. This is a honey-producing insect.
Two recent studies contradict the value of the honeybee:
1. A two-year study conducted in South America and Africa showed that native bees, when found on poor crops, increase the crop's yield by about 24 per cent.
2. Competition between managed honeybees and wild bumblebees depends on landscape context, as explained by Swedish researchers. This study concludes that honeybees are not good pollinators, starve native species under their hive's shadow and spread their diseases to native bees.
By introducing honey bees to crops, yes, farmers may get more yield when there was little before. With encouraging hole-nesting bees as well as carpenter (xylocopa) bees to an area, significantly more yield will result.