ISLAMABAD, Nov 27 (INP): Director of Honeybee Research Institute (HBRI) of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Dr. Rashid Mahmood has said that the present climatic conditions are posing threat to honeybees and honey production in Pakistan. He said that figuring out exactly how something so huge as climate change effects bee populations is tricky, but possible.
In an interview at NARC Campus in Islamabad on Sunday, Dr. Rashid Mahmood said that the present dry weather is affecting the sowing of crops. If this weather remains as such and no rains come, the crops and other plants production would certainly suffer particularly in the area of rain-fed. In low production of crops and plants there will be less flowering in this situation. If crops and plants production suffer then honeybee production will also suffer in the country. He said that the present weather condition has affected the bees potential of eggs production as well as bee population. In early nineties, the berry-honey (Sider) season would last from mid-August to mid-October, because this is when the berry trees would flower. With the change of temperatures brought out by climate change, this season has been reduced to just one month, between mid-Septembers to mid-October. Berri honey is very precious and used for many purposes.
He said if the rains occur timely then crops and plants production can be increased. The crops production will increase flowering. The flowering and pollen are the main source of food of bee to produce honey. Due to non-availability of pollen, the bee population reduced from 8–10 to 2–3 combs. Pakistan produces 10000 metric tons honey annually and its export is 1650 metric tons. It also increases Pakistan’s economy.
Dr. Rashid Mahmood said that HBRI of NARC doing research on how to tackle this climate change and reduce its effect on honeybees. As we are experimenting on artificial diets which could be fed to the bees during the dearth period due to dryness prevailing in these days, he added.