By Paul Watala
Pallisa district prouduction Martha Tasima Nalapa has attributed the law production and productivity of honey production to the continuous spraying of crops using pesticides and wild bush burning.
Tasima said that over the years, farmers have applied chemicals to control both pests and diseases that ravage crops in the region.
“Indiscriminate spraying of crops and wild bush burning is killing the bees hence affecting the production and productivity of honey in Bukedi sub region” Tasima said.
“Such spraying was in 2020 when desert locusts invaded the country affected the bees production ” She added.
she said that sprayed crops to control fall armyworms. All these, the beekeepers say do not provide a conducive environment for bees to produce honey.
Robert Mukesi Pallisa district planner said the honey production in the Region has reduced to more less tons compared to the past years.
Mukesi said that used to produce in a year because most bees were killed by the chemicals.
He said that reduction of honey affected the production of other products that he used to produce from honey.
He advised farmers to consider setting up their apiary in areas far away from the crop gardens to avoid exposing the bees to pesticides.
“The location of your apiary is probably the most important factor in eliminating the risk of pesticide poisoning. The further colonies are away from fields or orchards that are treated with pesticides, the better chance the bees have against pesticide poisoning.” he said.
Muhamed Samuka Pallisa district Natural Resources officer said bees company explains that the smells of chemicals used for spraying crops force bees to abscond whereas some die before they could abscond.
He advised farmers to consider spraying their crops late in the evening when bees are not foraging.
Tasima an entomologist as well as Pallisa district prouduction officer explained that both farmers dealing in crops and beekeeping must co-exist.
She said that Pesticides are substances used to eliminate unwanted pests whereas insecticides rid us of unwanted insects.
” Unfortunately, honey bees are insects and are greatly affected by insecticides because they can be killed by insecticides through direct contact of the insecticide on the bee while it is foraging in the field.” She added.
Bukedi Bee Keepers Association executive director Isaac Gabengere while launching association five years strategic plan for transformed and Environmentally sustainable communities with aim of improving livelihood of vulnerable and poor youth women elderly and PWDs in Bukedi sub region.
He said that stratagic planning will also aim at increasing income level of the vulnerable and poor bee keepers in Bukedi sub region.
He also said that stratagic plan will strengthen access to better markets for bee products of the vulnerable and poor bee keepers in Bukedi sub region.
The association is operating in four districts that include, Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku and Butebo, adding that BuBa was formed in 2018 and it has total number of farmers of 38 bee keepers.
While addressing he also revealed that they are planing to construct honey processing and packaging plant in next five years in eastern Region.
By Paul Watala