A Professor of Entomology, Prof. Peter Kwapong, says Bees create more employment opportunities and generate income as compared to some developing and developed countries
Prof. Kwapong also explained that the income generated out of the insect is higher as compared to that of some developing and developed countries.
“Many of the world’s most important cash crops are pollinator-dependent. They constitute leading export of developing countries and developed countries providing employment and income for millions of people”, he said.
“Bees are a source of multiple benefits to people well beyond food provisioning alone, contributing directly to medicines, biofuel, fibre, construction materials, musical instruments, art and crafts and as a source of inspiration for art, music, literature, religion and technology”, he noted.
The world-renowned entomologist, Prof. Kwapong of the Department of Conservation Biology and Entomology said this when he delivered his inaugural lecture. He indicated that “livelihoods based on beekeeping and honey hunting are an anchor for many rural economies and are a source of multiple education and recreational benefits in both rural and urban contexts”.
Speaking on the topic “Are Bees the Hidden engineers of Ghana’s Economy”, Prof. Kwapong said without insects, life would have been very difficult to bear since there would be no food available to eat, adding that “protein from insects are more than any other’.
Prof. Kwapong explained that bees were the most important of all insects and for that matter animal pollinators. “There are over 20,000 bee species all over the world and contribute immensely in the area of pollination leading fertilization and reproduction plants”. Regrettably, Prof. Kwapong said despite these contributions and their importance, bees face many challenges created by those who receive their help and have therefore, resulted in global decline in bee population and diversity. He pointed out that “87% of the world’s plants depend on bees for pollination, without bees 40% of crops will be reduced. Loss of bees could lead to deficiencies due to lower crop yield”, he said.
The eminent Ghanaian entomologist recommended that that the attention of the nation should be turned to the “Hidden Economic Engineers” (bees) God has given to mankind in the environment for the economic emancipation of communities and for the survival of people. Prof. Kwapong who has over 15 years of expertise and experience in Bees and pollination ecology has since 2005 established Stingless Bee Sanctuary to provide an alternative livelihood for the people living in the area of the Kakum Forest to prevent the over exploitation of the environment.
He has also trained 7 PhD students in bee pollination and ecology and a number of people in the 10 regions of the country.
He called on authorities to stop the mass spraying exercise being carried out by government since the chemicals cause a lot of challenges to the existence of bees.