honey beeUnited Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Stephen O’Malley, has said the effects of climate change are already having a negative impact on the pattern of bees.

This in turn affects our food supply, he said.

O’Malley made the remarks while delivering an address on the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEP SGP) Apiculture Development Project (ADP) at the Dominica State College (DSC) auditorium on Thursday.

“Changes in climate are already known to impact on bees’ pattern of activities,” He said. “Earlier foraging of bees and later blooming of plants is impacting on the bees’ pollen supply and will impact on human food supply. There are expectations of poor crop pollination, resulting in lower yields, with a negative impact on agricultural crops and food security. Also there is increased risk of disease in bees.”

He stated it is unknown how or if bees will adapt to climate change and “indeed there is growing concern over the plight of bees worldwide.”

“This is why it is so important that we adapt to strategies that will enable us to protect and manage these pollinators which are so crucial to our livelihoods,” O’Malley informed.

The ADP aims at increasing the capacity of bee hives on island and is specifically targeted at people who are already in the bee business and will teach them to conserve biodiversity, to achieve best quality and standards for certification and increase market share and value.

Three local cooperatives will benefit from this program: Soul Cooperative, Pure blossom and the Bee Keepers Cooperative.

It is the first strategic project to be funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEPSGP) in Dominica and it is being coordinated by the National Steering Committee and the Beekeeping Cooperatives.

The GEP SGP is a corporate program implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and executed under the UN Office for Projects Services. It was launched in 1992.

The ADP, with a grant of US $147,000, is one of 93 projects funded in Dominica to date with grants totaling US$ 2,360,383 and an average size of US$ 25,380.00.