How UAE beekeepers are adapting to climate change

STORY: UAE-based beekeepers are

genetically modifying queen bees

to withstand hot temperatures

Mustafa Mohammed Mustafa says

climate change hurts honey production

Locator: Hatta, UAE

(Mustafa Mohammed Mustafa, Honeybee Garden and Discovery Center)

“With temperatures that could reach 50 degrees (122 Fahrenheit), 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit), bees can't survive in these hot temperatures. We can overcome this by placing the bees under large canopies, we also make sure there are water sprinklers around. Also, we were able to develop a strain of bees that can survive the heat in the UAE. Through genetic manipulation, we were able to choose certain genes in the bees that allow the queen bee to live in hot temperatures. We chose the genes in the bee that allow for the queen bee to survive in high temperatures.”

The center has around 2,500 hives,

each one housing up to 20,000 bees

Rising temperatures above historical norms

are directly causing a decline in bees

That’s according to research

published in ‘Science’ in 2020