Should SA students plant Trees for Bees?

Posted on 31 May 2019

Recently the Philippines passed into law that every student in their final year of elementary school, high school or university is required to plant 10 trees before they can graduate. It’s a great idea, for the bees and other pollinators, for water, and for the environment in every way.

Looking at such examples, perhaps South African schools could formalise a voluntary programme that establishes the ongoing sustainability of planting trees.

The Bee Effect, an organisation that runs programmes to address the declining honey bee population and honey bee food security, is hoping local schools will do this, and says it will recognise schools with tree-planting programmes as #BeeSmartSchools.

According to the Independent UK, ‘The Philippines is one of the world’s most severely deforested countries with total forest cover dropping from 70 per cent to just 20 per cent during the 20th century.’ The country aims to plant 175-million new trees per year to offset the deforestation.

South African schools can take their lead from the Philippines and plant indigenous trees and plants with bees and other pollinators in mind in cleared and bare areas in cities.

These areas can include city parks or military bases, street verges and the middle sections of roads. They can be planted in rural areas, on community lands, river banks both flowing and dried up.

Schools can partner up with local environmental groups and farmers whose land has been devastated by mining, and see how the school can support the rehabilitation of these barren lands.

Schools can link up with local organisations running reforestation projects, like Greenpop and Food & Trees for Africa.

Whether a school elects to plant one or 10 trees per matriculant, each tree will have a positive effect on the impact of deforestation and urbanisation.

Wondering what trees are great for honey bees in your province? Click here and select your province to find trees for bees.


Image: Supplied

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