Impacts of climate variability and change on beekeeping productivity
This study investigated impacts of climate variability and change on Beekeeping productivity in Sunya, Kijungu and Olgira villages in Kiteto District in Manyara region in Tanzania. Specific objectives of the study were to identify the contribution of honey bees to community livelihoods, to identify climate related factors which influence honey bee productivity, to characterise impact of climate variability and change on honey bees productivity, to identify the role of climate services and indigenous knowledge on linking changing climate with bee keeping activities and to identify possible adaptation measures that beekeepers use to respond to the impact of climate variability and change. Beekeepers were purposively selected based on their experience, with a snow balling approach was used to come up with more experienced and long term practitioners of beekeeping activities. Data were analyzed by using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 and Rainfall data were analysed using Microsoft Excel. Climate Change and Climate Variability have negative impacts to the productivity of honeybees; altering plant flowering time, increasing water stress especially in situations of drought, thus reducing pollen and nectar availability, inhibiting movement, affecting bee communications, causing physical damage of hives, colony starvation and retarding bee forage activities. In response to climate change beekeepers have adapted to reduce impacts by shifting to pollen rich areas, providing food for bees, providing water, changing hive types, changing apiary location, putting hives in tree shadows, use of over-dimensioned wooden hive and changing harvesting methods and time.
Nonetheless beekeepers face serious constraints and interventions are needed to strengthen the capacity of beekeepers to adapt through integrating climate services with available indigenous knowledge and local practices.
Key Words: Beekeeping, climate change and variability, vulnerability and adaptation