25 Feb 2020

Samoa's bee population in decline, warns growers' group

3:53 pm on 25 February 2020

The Samoa Women's Association of Growers is warning of a major threat to the country's food security after a project they are completing confirmed the bee population is dwindling.

The queen bee surrounded by bees.

Photo: 123RF

The Samoa Observer reports the project will be completed in March after eight months of work, but about a dozen members of the association, or SWAG, are already preparing to build apiaries on their land and in national parks to boost the bee population.

About 60 beehive "starter kits" including beekeeping suits will arrive from New Zealand next month.

Project Manager Kaisarina Salesa said climate change and the continued use of pesticides had been the "forces" causing the bee decline.

While there were some thriving apiaries in Samoa, they were mainly for commercial production of honey.

However, SWAG is interested in increasing the population to pollinate plants and keeping fruit and vegetables supplies high.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment agreed the bee population had dwindled and was "not where it should be".

"It's not like 20 or 30 years ago where you could go anywhere and you would see honey bees almost everywhere," said Ms Salesa.

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