IN an apple orchard outside Paris, a constant hum among the blossoming trees bears witness to  thousands of workers bees pollinating millions of flowers in just three weeks.

''Without bees, no pollinization, no apples, no life,'' sums up farmer Alexandre Prot, who decides to deal with a decline in bees populations by becoming a beekeeper as well.

''We are not worried about the lack of bees because we have our own,'' he said, during a tour of his  30 hives, which are backed up by another 30 that he hives during spring months to ensure his 60 hectares [150 acres] of apples are fertilised.

Prot initially took a business degree to work as an auditor on the New York and Paris commodities markets before coming back to his family's 300-hectares apple and grain farm in Chevereville, about an hour north of the French capital.

His grandfather who planted the first apple trees, and his father both called on professional beekeepers to ensure the orchard was properly pollinated.

''Having bees lets me be autonomous - with respect to the apple crop,'' he said. ''Each year, the hives divided in two, the young queen finds a new home, and we recover the swarms of worker bees and drones.

''So every year we enlarge our population.''

Prot recovers 500 kilos [1,100 pounds of honey per year, which he sells in the  farm's store].

But it is almost s derivative product because the polinization is the farmer's main motivation.

The natural apiculture institute, ITSAP, estimates that the value of work done by bees in helping pollinise the fruits, cereals and vegetables from the plants and trees of French farmers is 2 billion euros [$2,2 billion] .

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] has made the conservation and sustainable use of  of pollinators  -an absolute priority in dealing with a pollinization crisis that threatens global food resources. [Agencies]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!