Recently launched at Nampo 2017, in Bothaville, South Africa one of the largest agricultural trade shows in the southern hemisphere, the “bee” charter is multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at promoting communication between all parties along the production chain, to mitigate honey bee losses in agricultural settings. Knowing each other’s constraints and requirements brings beekeepers and farmers closer together.
Chaired by Agri SA, the charter is a guideline which seeks to build relationships among stakeholders from the crop protection industry, growers, pollination service provision and beekeeping by putting forward measures that will ensure good beekeeping and farming practices are followed.
By working together, they can promote bee health and safety by ensuring that sustainable farming goes in harmony with bees. “There needs to be co-operation between all role-players, especially crop protection advisors providing responsible use recommendations, crop producers telling bee farmers when they want to apply pesticides, and beekeepers informing farmers when placing hives on their farms” said Dirk Uys, Marketing Manager for Southern Africa at Bayer. In addition, beekeepers have a role to play in maintaining healthy honey bee stocks.
According to the charter, crop protection agencies would recommend pesticides as part of an integrated pest management program and ensure dust reduction measures for treated seed planting are introduced according to CropLife and SANSOR guidelines in the country. Likewise, there are also recommendations for crop growers and beekeepers.
The initiative, which has been seen as a positive approach by the media, brought together and is supported by stakeholders with a common interest in improving honey bee health and safety, be it for crop pollination service optimization or honey production. These include Grain SA, Bayer, the South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO), Agri SA, Subtrop, CropLife SA, the Citrus Research Institute, Hortgro and the South African National Seed Organisation (SANSOR).
Download PDF: The Pollination Services Charter