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Effect of honeybee pollination on seed and fruit yield of agricultural crops in Ethiopia

MOJ Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Tura Bareke, Admassu Addi

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Pollination is a critical link in the functioning of ecosystems, and it improves the yield of crops. Insect pollination is an essential input in the production of crops grown worldwide. Of the approximately 300 commercial crops about 84% are insect pollinated. Honeybees are responsible for 70-80% of insect pollination. This indicated how much honeybees are the most efficient insect pollinators of cultivated crops and wild flora in agricultural systems. The main reason is that honeybees are abundant and widespread everywhere. They have well developed mechanism of communication to exploit their environment. The value of additional yields obtained by pollination service rendered by honeybees is 15-20 times more than the value of all hive products put together. Studies conducted in Ethiopia have also proven the role of honeybee pollination in improving the yield and quality of some crops such as Malus sylvestris (apple),Allium cepa (red onion),Guizotia abyssinica (niger) and Vicia faba (faba bean). The yield increment was varied from 33.5-84% among the above crops due to honeybee pollination. However, unwise pesticide applications become the main problem for some crops in Ethiopia. This is due to, low level understanding of the value of pollination on the yield of agricultural crops. Therefore, attention should be given for the legal protection of honeybees and other insect pollinators; especially, protecting the honeybees from pesticide poisoning, developing pollinators’ conservation policy, the idea of crop pollination should be included in national crop production strategic plan and awareness creation should be given to the society about the value of crop pollination.


Pollination, Honeybee, Yield, Crops, Pesticide, Ecosystem, Plant reproduction, Forest area, Insects, Pest control, Fertilizers, Onion, Apple, Faba bean, Niger