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Report, 1991

Bees and Trees

Svensson, Börje;


It's not just that Bees and Trees rhyme well! Bees and trees are interdependent, and have been perfecting their relationship over the last 50 million years or so, literally millions of years before man appeared on the scene. A wonderful and complex interdependency has evolved whereby flowering plants depend upon bees to bring about pollination and thereby the production of viable seeds. The bees in turn depend upon the plants for their food. Trees do not need bees simply for their own reproduction (although for many species bees are vital) but for maintenance and regeneration of the whole system within which the trees exist. The more species of fruits and seeds generating within a system, the greater its diversity, and the richer its life-carrying capacity. Trees and bees represent truly harmonious symbiosis. It is essential that this symbiosis is protected. Rural people can also generate income from this symbiosis, while at the same time helping to safeguard natural habitats while encouraging it. The sustainable use of tree resources is now widely promoted but the tremendous scope for sustainable use of bee resources is as yet poorly appreciated. This document explains how to encourage and protect the important relationship between bees and trees, and the benefits of doing so. The information is not intended just for beekeepers! it is presented here for the attention of people in all sectors of forestry who make decisions concerning future resources for bees and beekepers. The document will have achieved success when it is read and used by people who had not considered previously the ecological importance of bees and the economic value of beekeeping.


bees; trees; symbiosis; ecology; beekeeping

Published in

Working paper / Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, International Rural Development Centre

1991, number: 183
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, International Rural Development Center (IRDC)

Authors' information

Svensson, Börje
SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification


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