A picture of a bee pollinating a purple flower with a yellow centre. This image symbolised the role of bees in pollination and also Ambokili Farm's efforts in apiculture which is contributing to wildlife conservation as well as environmental conservation.

Bees are among the most important pollinators in most ecosystems, contributing to the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small. About one-third of the food we consume relies on pollination mainly by bees.  

As crucial components of wildlife, they contribute to the ecological balance through their roles as pollinators. Beyond agriculture, bees support the reproduction of wild plants, thereby sustaining the ecosystems that many animal species rely on for survival. Their ability to pollinate a wide variety of plants makes them essential for the health of natural habitats. 

Apiculture has a long history of aligning human economic interests with the conservation of bees. It provides a means for humans to economically benefit from the natural activities of bees, such as honey production, while encouraging the protection and expansion of bee populations and their natural habitats. 

In essence, apiculture embodies a synergy between human agricultural practices and the conservation of natural ecosystems, making it a pivotal activity for wildlife conservation. Through beekeeping, humans support the proliferation of bee populations, which in turn enhances plant pollination, biodiversity, and the overall health of ecosystems.  

Ambokili Farm actively engages in apiculture, maintaining 7 beehives, one has already been occupied. We expect several more to be occupied during this migration season. The bees not only produce honey but are also major contributors to pollination. They’re essential for plant reproduction and ecosystem health.  

Through our beekeeping efforts, we also harvest valuable bee venom, which has medicinal properties, thereby adding value to our products while promoting the conservation of bee populations. 

What is Apiculture?

Apiculture is the practice of beekeeping. It involves the management and care of bees, primarily for the purpose of harvesting honey, beeswax, and other bee-related products. Beekeeping has been an age-old practice, dating back thousands of years, and today it plays a crucial role in agriculture and ecosystem health. 

Why Apiculture?

Apiculture holds numerous benefits for organic farms, especially in semi-arid areas: 

  1. Pollination: Bees are exceptional pollinators, contributing to the fertilisation of many crops. Incorporating beekeeping into organic farming practices enhances crop yields and quality.
  2. Biodiversity: By keeping bees, Ambokili Farm contributes to biodiversity conservation by supporting bee populations and the ecosystems they inhabit.
  3. Honey Production: Harvesting honey provides an additional source of food for the farmers, diversifying their diet. Honey has a variety of health benefits as well e.g. it aid in treating infections and prevents arteriosclerosis.
  4. Soil Health: The presence of bees and their pollination activities can improve soil health, promoting plant growth and ecosystem resilience.
  5. Sustainable Agriculture: Beekeeping aligns with principles of sustainable agriculture, promoting harmony between farming practices and the environment.

Role of Apiculture in Wildlife Conservation:

Apiculture aids wildlife conservation in several ways: 

Pollination Support: Bees are key pollinators for a vast array of plants, including many that constitute the habitats and food sources for wildlife. By pollinating these plants, bees help maintain the health and diversity of ecosystems. 

Biodiversity Conservation: Beekeeping initiatives can encourage the planting of a variety of flora that not only serve bees but also provide habitat and food for other wildlife species, thus enhancing local biodiversity. 

Sustainable Practices: Sustainable beekeeping practices, as promoted by organisations such as the Ambokili Farm, emphasise the importance of harmony between apiculture and the environment.

A pioneering study has mapped bee species around the world, revealing that bees prefer dry landscapes over moist, tropical ecosystems. This distribution around the globe highlights the importance of specific habitats for bee diversity and conservation.  

These findings emphasise the importance of conserving bee habitats through measures like maintaining and enhancing flower density, protecting natural areas, and ensuring the availability of diverse floral resources. Additionally, understanding the specific needs and preferences of bee species can guide more effective conservation strategies, helping to safeguard these crucial pollinators and the ecosystems they support.  

Furthermore, efforts to conserve wild bee populations highlight the importance of understanding the biology and ecology of wild bees across diverse land use types. Conserving diverse assemblages of wild bees is essential for maintaining healthy and functioning ecosystems.