Theon Ali is on a bee conservation mission in Dubai and the UAE

January 16 17:42 2023


Theon Ali, who has been an activist in bee conservation for a significant amount of time, has now had the epiphany that the time has come for him to finally start his bee conservation campaign on a global scale. Getting in touch with other activists and working together with them to broaden the scope of the campaign and raise more people’s knowledge of it on a worldwide scale. According to Theon Ali, the close collaboration will increase public and governmental awareness of the need to collaborate closely in order to preserve the species that have a significant impact on our environment. This need will be brought to light as a result of the increased likelihood of successful conservation efforts. 

Concern for the well-being of honeybees has led to a recent uptick in the number of people engaging in bee activism. 

Theon Ali is currently in Dubai as part of his quest to promote bee conservation. While there, he will collaborate closely with another bee activist to develop a strategy for launching a campaign for bee conservation in Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. 

Both the Apis florea, a little dwarf bee that can be found in the wild, and the Apis mellifera, the honeybee that is most commonly utilized in commercial and hobbyist hives, can be found in the United Arab Emirates. Apiarists in the Emirates have for a very long time imported honeybees from countries like Egypt. The honeybees they use are almost exclusively of a European breed that does not do well in arid environments. 

“Sidr and samar honey are the two most important honey crops in the UAE, and these bees are employed to create both types of honey.” And following the completion of each crop, the bees pass away,” adds Theon Ali. 

You might already be aware of the fact that honey made in the UAE is often considered to be of exceptional quality. It is difficult to keep them alive in a climate that is dry and unforgiving like that of the country. In order to harvest this unique variety of honey, trees native to the Al Sidr region of Yemen are brought into Ras al Khaimah. The importation and planting of one thousand of these trees took place in the valleys of Hadramaut in the year 2018. It is gathered on two separate occasions per year. 

Each year, the United Arab Emirates imports 95 percent of the bees used to create honey since the native bees are not well adapted to the environment there. There is currently work being done to develop a Dubai breed of bee that will fare better in the severe climate of the UAE and produce honey of a superior grade. 

According to Theon Ali, “There are two types of honeybees in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates: the local wild honeybees and the imported honeybees.” 

Apis florea, often known as the Arabian or Asian dwarf honeybee, is a little, reddish-brown bee that normally measures between 7 and 10 mm, which is relatively small in comparison to the size of other honeybees. A colony is comprised of approximately 5,000 individual bees, and it creates a single, open-air comb that is exposed to the environment, typically on the branches of trees or bushes. This leaves the colony subject to attack by other animals. 

Apis Mallifera is the species of honey bee that is kept by both professional and amateur beekeepers in the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) imports more than 95% of the queens required to produce honey, which amounts to over 500,000 packaged bee colonies per year. The majority of these queens come from Egypt, but Oman and Yemen are also sources. 

Initiative for the Conservation of Bees in Dubai: 

Residents of The Sustainable City (TSC) in Dubai have taken up beekeeping, and in the space of just six months, they have assisted in the relocation of five wild swarms that would have otherwise been destroyed. If they had not done so, these swarms would have been eliminated. Because it now has its very own Bee Garden, the neighborhood has become the permanent home of approximately 100,000 honey bees. 

Residents in an area that aspires to become a bee hub are collaborating closely with members of the Beekeepers Association, a non-profit organization, to develop bee-friendly landscaping in order to bring an increased number of bees to the region. 

Because of their role as pollinators, bees are an essential component of every facet of the environment; therefore, the 2,000 residents of TSC are reiterating their dedication to the implementation of sustainable practices by choosing to live side by side with bees. 

The discovery of wild beehives by a number of the neighborhood’s inhabitants, which included balconies and window sills, was the impetus for the conception of the neighborhood’s very own Bee Garden. 

However, bees are in no way the only species affected by this issue in any way. Honeybees are only responsible for the pollination of one third of crop plants and a very small percentage of the world’s wild plant species, according to Theon Ali. Honeybees are also responsible for the production of honey. The remaining tasks are carried out by a wide variety of other insects, such as butterflies, bumblebees, and extremely small flies; nevertheless, it appears that each of these insects is also in jeopardy. 

It is widely held that the rise in average world temperature is a significant factor in the decline of wild bee populations. There are a few species of wild bees that can only thrive inside a specified temperature range. When the temperature of their natural environment rises, there are fewer sites that are suitable for their continued survival since these regions become less habitable. Some people may not have an option but to live at higher elevations because there is less space available for them to occupy lower down and the temperature is typically cooler at higher elevations. 

Agricultural practices have been connected to a decline in pollination and biodiversity, and both of these trends have been shown to go hand in hand. The practice of farming leads to the destruction of a wide variety of bee nesting places, a reduction in the variety of foods that bees may feed on, and even wider-reaching effects on other animal species, such as wild birds, animals, and amphibians.

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