The National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) has embarked on a project to domesticate stingless bees as a viable alternative for farmers.
This innovative approach is expected to enhance pollination, increase crop yields, and mitigate the environmental impact associated with traditional farming practices.
Stingless bees, known for their gentle nature and efficient pollination capabilities, have become a focal point in NARO’s efforts to address challenges faced by farmers.
Introduced in 2019, Mugume says stingless bees are excellent pollinators that can significantly boost crop yields.
Mugume Ronald, an apiculturist at National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) Rwebitaba zard in Kabarole district says that with the decline in populations of honeybees and concerns about the use of chemical pollinators, the domestication of stingless bees emerges as a promising solution.
According to him, their domestication provides a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional pollination methods, contributing to the overall health of ecosystems.
NARO has also established specialized facilities equipped with controlled environments to facilitate the domestication process.
Unlike honeybees, stingless bees do not sting, making them a safer option for both farmers and consumers.
NARO also plans to expand the project to cover a broader range of crops and regions, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable model for agriculture that balances productivity and environmental stewardship.
The organization is optimistic that the domestication of stingless bees will usher in a new era of farming practices, emphasizing harmony with nature and long-term ecological resilience.
The organization is also collaborating with local farmers to pilot the project in selected regions, promoting knowledge transfer and community engagement.
At least seven species of stingless bees have been reported in Uganda, these include, Hypotrigona gribodoi, Meliponula bocandei, Meliponula erythra, Meliponula lendliana, Meliponula nebulata, Meliponula ferruginea, and Plebeina hildebrandtii.