The Zimbabwe Apiculture Platform (ZAP) which is a multi-stakeholder group that deals with bees’ upkeep and honey production has appealed to government to consider extending the command agriculture programme to beekeeping as a way to increase domestic stocks and exports of honey products.
Zimbabwe marked the World Bee Day with belated celebrations in Bulawayo amid concerns on the decrease of pollinators which is a threat to honey production and food security in the country.
Addressing stakeholders during the belated celebrations, ZAP chairperson Miss Jacqueline Gowe appealed to government to address the anomaly by considering extending the command agriculture to apiculture.
“We need to talk to our government to extend their command agriculture to bees. This is necessary as we intend to meet the national demand for honey as well as increase on our exports. We are also after increasing the cross pollination. We also need to promote honey shows to increase awareness on the product,” she said.
Matabeleland Beekeepers Association president Mr Thabiso Dube said it is with a heavy heart that people continue to destroy bees during honey extraction processes advising people to start initiatives towards safe apiculture mechanisms.
“We are trying to safe keep our bees. I have seen a lot of kids who throw stones when they see a swamp of bees. Others burn them in trying to extract honey, this is wrong. From today onwards, you should know that these bees have owners and this campaign is meant to conserve bees,” said Mr Dube.
The United Nations set aside the 20th of May as the day to mark World Bee Day in honour of Slovenian national Anton Jansa, a modern bee keeper whose birthday falls on the same day as a way to preserve the pollinators in a meeting held in December last year, meaning this year marked the inaugural celebrations for the event globally.