Bees: An active source of food and livelihood for man

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Bees are one of the most hard-working creatures on earth. Bees do so much for our planet, including pollinating flowers, fruit and food crops, and even some trees. They produce the nutritious sweet syrup called honey and contribute to the earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem stability. Bees could constitute a source of livelihood for anyone who learns to keep bees for honey production.

Beekeepers will do well to love nature, exercise patience, and possess tender care and a sense of duty. With training from experts, investment capital, and a conducive environment for the bees, anyone can start.

The IITA Forest Center keeps bees in several hives in the wild for honey extraction. It also offers training to intending beekeepers. We recently harvested about 35 liters of honey from four hives, worth NG₦210,000 (approximately US$500).

A healthy, well-protected, and thriving hive can produce between 20 and 100 liters of honey annually. However, a poorly maintained hive will be exposed to infestations and attacks from bee predators, such as bears, birds, mice, beetles, moths, and fungi. This is bad for business.

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