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Farmers’ insecticide use practice and its effect on honeybees (Apis mellifera) foraging on onion flower in Adami Tullu district of Ethiopia

Abstract

Dawit Melisie Tebkew Damte Ashok Kumar Thakur

The survey was conducted in Adami Tullu district to assess farmers’ perception of insecticide sideeffects on honeybees. It was conducted in six peasant associations (PAs) and ten farmers were interviewed from each selected PA. On one hand, the results revealed that almost all (96.7%) of onion producers were aware of the undesirable -effects of insecticides on honeybees. On the other hand, the majority (96.7%) of the interviewed farmers applied insecticides (profenofos, endosulfan, diazinon, malathion, lambda-cyhalothrin, delteramethrin, dimethoate and DDT) at any stage of onion development whenever incidence of insect pests was noticed. The insecticide DDT has been banned from use in agriculture. It was found that 48.3% of the beekeepers abandoned beekeeping and they indicated that pesticide application was the major driving force for abandoning beekeeping and bee colony losses. About 53.3% of the interviewed farmers knew about the importance of honeybees in pollinating onion flowers. However, farmers in the study area did not pay due attentions to honeybees and to honeybees’ role in onion seed production. As a result, farmers were spraying their onions at any developmental stages, including flowering. This eventually leads to loss of honeybee colonies and abandoning beekeeping in the area and reduction of onion seed yield.

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