The Contribution of Managed Honey Bees to Crop Pollination, Food Security, and Economic Stability: Case of Ethiopia

Zekiros Fikadu1 , * Open Modal Authors Info & Affiliations
The Open Agriculture Journal 31 December 2019 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501913010175


This paper reviews the role and economic importance of the pollination service by honey bees (Apis mellifera) to agricultural crops and food security in the Ethiopian context. Honey bees provide pollination services that are crucial for sexual reproduction and improving the quality and quantity of many agricultural crops. From the significant 53 crops cultivated in Ethiopia, 33 (62.2%) of them are dependent on biological pollinators. Besides this, honey bees play a vital economic role, and their contribution to pollination service in agriculture crops is around 0.815 billion dollars in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, this contribution is unnoticed by Ethiopian farmers. Pollination by honey bee plays an essential role in human nutrition and supplies food security, income in households, and ecosystem services. Declines in insect pollinators, including honey bees across the world, have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture, and it is because one-third of agriculture productions depend upon pollination, mainly by honey bees. Among the several factors responsible for the decline of honey bee colonies, improper pesticide application, and climate change are the elements and make them at risk. The potential adverse effects of pollinator declines include direct economic losses incurred by reduced crop yields as well as broader impacts on the agricultural activity because of lower productivity in the ecosystems. Through promoting and the use of honey bee pollination service as agricultural development packages, it is possible to improve honey bee production and crop yield in Ethiopia.

Keywords: Crop yield, Economic benefit, Ethiopia, Honey bee, Pollination service, Public perception.
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