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Vietnamese Beekeepers Fight Climate Change With New Initiatives

Beekeepers and researchers in northern Vietnam are looking for ways to combat declines in vital bee populations.

The Diplomat reports that in 2014, 35,000 honeybee colonies were recorded in Vietnam. However, extended dry seasons and longer droughts in the north have led to a 20% reduction in the number of apiaries in the country since then.

Nguyen Thi Hang, vice-president and general secretary of the Vietnam Beekeepers' Association, explains to the news source that "the international price of honey was dramatically down in the last two years so small beekeepers could not get [enough benefits] for their investments so they just gave up beekeeping."

In addition, climate change has resulted in fewer flowers on bee plants, meaning there is less food for bees, while floods have also swept away many beehives, Hang added.

Hanoi's Bee Research and Development Center, the news source reports, is studying bee life cycles in order to find ways to combat these environmental challenges.

For example, initial studies have shown that Asian honeybees work better with limited resources compared to their European cousins. This will be crucial information for Vietnam's beekeepers moving forward. 

Meanwhile, NGOs are training farmers on bee food chains and the need for conservation, in addition to encouraging them to seed more plants and flowers. One initiative, the news site shares, is helping beekeepers plant more sweet canola in Moc Chau. These plants bloom for longer period and produce high amounts of nectar, providing more food for bees.

[Photo via The Generous Beekeeper]

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